Roll Call: Congressman Suggests “Sex Surcharge” for Health Insurance Premiums


I’ve been waiting to see how long it would take for someone to actually put this idea on the table, and now they have. Let’s make people pay for having sex (no not that kind) by upping their health insurance premiums.

According to Roll Call’s "Heard on the Hill" column, Indiana Congressman Steve Buyer has suggested that people who:

engage in the act (specifically, the kind that takes place sans protection) should have to pony up.

And here we thought paying for sex was a no-no, especially for scandal-wary Members of Congress. 

The proposal apparently came during the markup of the health care bill in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  Roll Call notes that:

Under the plan Buyer posited, those who engage in risky behavior, like smoking, not exercising and (ding, ding!) having unprotected sex, should have to pay a premium for their health care.

The Congressman stated:

Someone who smokes, drinks, participates in bad conduct and behavior, unprotected sex, maybe bad things happen to them, maybe they should pay higher premiums. That is a radical thought, isn’t it?

The article goes on to say:

HOH should note that under such a scheme, at least one of his former colleagues might see his health care costs go up: Former Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.) fathered a love child and so presumably would get hit with the unprotected-sex surcharge.

Do we suggest back-charging others in the House and Senate who’ve also fathered children out-of-wedlock, as have a number of notables?

HOH also asks:

We have to wonder how such a plan might be enforced, since we can’t imagine many people would fess up to sneaking a ciggie or skipping a workout, let alone forgoing condoms.

Does this mean that Congressman Buyer fully supports comprehensive sexual health education and universal access to affordable contraceptive supplies for women and men so that they can practice safer sex in the first place?

A modest proposal: Perhaps we can test-drive a health insurance funded ankle bracelet or video-cam to be carried by recent offenders such as John Ensign and Mark Sanford, to name a few.  I am sure that if Congress made good on such an example, the rest of us would fall right in line with the types of monitoring suggested here….

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  • http://acrimonyastraea.livejournal.com invalid-0

    I can just see it now: married couples trying to get pregnant getting a note from their doctor informing insurance company that they are having state-approved unprotected sex.

  • invalid-0

    This idea makes me FURIOUS! Not only does my state-employer sponsored health insurance (and many others nationwide) not cover prophylactics, but now the government is suggesting a higher payment for the services they do not provide! Outrageous! I’m lost for words….

  • invalid-0

    Because doctors really need their patients to trust them less. *eyeroll*

  • airina

    Wow. I have seen a lot of stupid ideas for sin taxes, but that one pretty much takes the cake.

  • invalid-0

    Obama was elected President. He campaigned HARD on Health Insurance. And now that he’s been elected he has to scramble hard to find suckers willing to pay for it.

    Making people pay for having unprotected sex sounds exactly what Democrats would demand. That they are a married couple trying to procreate doesn’t mean squat to them. Everybody, that isn’t a member of the Democratic Party that is, is exactly who they are going to bilk out of their life savings.

    A lot of Libertarians and Republicans are going to start making billboards and signs saying, yelling.”SUCKERS!” or at the very least, “We Told You So!”

    • invalid-0

      Obama is the one attempting to overhaul the medical system. As a healthcare worker I believe that such is necessary, though I don’t necessarily agree with how he is going about doing such.

      However, it was *not* the Democrats who proposed this heinous bit of legislature, but the Republicans. You can also thank them for insurance companies being forced to cover Viagra and not contraceptives. Perhaps that is because the vast majority of them are aging males and it is nearer and dearer to their…hearts. It is just supposition, of course.

  • invalid-0

    I’m not understanding how this gets enforced? What if an unintended pregnancy happens, but protection was used? I’m not getting it.

    • invalid-0

      Abortion.

  • crowepps

    How a ‘sin tax’ on Viagra? After all, those old fossils aren’t producing top quality sperm any more and shouldn’t be putting the genetic health of a potential fetus to risk.

    Maybe $100 a pill?

  • invalid-0

    Steve Buyer recently declared that smoking lettuce was as dangerous as smoking tobacco. He is the recipient of the largest amount of tobacco money of any Congressman in the history of Indiana. He is especially favored by Smokeless Tobacco PACs. He is nothing but a spokesperson for his corporate donors. He’s the same guy who said we should use nuclear weapons in Afghanistan and who lied to Congress that he had been called to active duty in Iraq and then took a 3 week leave of absence at his home.

  • invalid-0

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  • http://www.derma-rollers.net invalid-0

    Just like most of lobbyists and politicians, Buyer is paid by the insurance companies to advance their causes. Take a look at all his bills and you’ll see the picture. And, I thought Obama was going to lower premium rates, does anyone remember?

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