We are a democracy: we do certain things for the good of others

Barbara Rank, 63,wrote this letter in response to U.S. Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, who said in a Dubuque town hall last week that he supports repealing “crazy” mandates contained in the federal Affordable Care Act that require the inclusion of “essential health benefits” in health insurance plans.

“Such as a 62-year-old male having to have pregnancy insurance,” Blum said, referring to maternity care.

Rank was among the attendees at the town hall, and she said Monday that she was “appalled.”

“That he would think that we only pay for the things that matter to us,” she said. “It’s not the first time that I’ve heard that argument, but the fact that he would just say it in front of 1,000 people got me boiling.”

In her letter, she said people pay for things they do not directly use in the name of “democracy, a civil society (and) the greater good.”

“I ask, why should I pay for a bridge I don’t cross, a sidewalk I don’t walk on, a library book I don’t read?” Rank wrote. “Why should I pay the salaries of politicians I didn’t vote for, a tax cut that doesn’t affect me or a loophole I can’t take advantage of?”

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