Bill O’Reilly Joins the War on Women

O’Reilly Blames Women’s Health Care ‘Breast Feeding Stuff’ For High Unemployment

By Marie Diamond on Aug 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm, Think Progress

Fox host Bill O’Reilly has worked himself into a lather over the Obama administration’s recent decision to require new health insurance plans to cover birth control without co-pays. Last week he declared that women don’t deserve government subsidized birth control because they’re too “blasted out of their minds” during sex to use it. Yesterday during an interview with Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), O’Reilly went a step further in his tirade against women’s health care and said it was the reason businesses aren’t hiring:

O’REILLY: Now the federal government is ordering the health insurance companies to pay for all breast feeding stuff, all female birth control stuff, all preventative measures for doctors for ladies that go in. What do you think that’s gonna do? That’s going to inhibit hiring even more!

KUCINICH: Frankly, we ought to be very concerned about women’s health care.

O’REILLY: I am concerned, but they’re not going to expand and hire if they have to pay higher health care premiums for workers! Businesses aren’t going to do it…You can’t have both. You can’t have a welfare state and a robust capitalist system.

By “breast feeding stuff,” O’Reilly was railing about the fact that under the administration’s ruling, health insurers will be required to pay for a range of preventative care services, including HPV, DNA, and HIV screening, and the costs for renting breastfeeding equipment. Women’s premiums will actually pay for the services. But apparently conservatives like O’Reilly only support “family values” as long as the government never has to spend a dime to help poor women care for their children.

It’s also surprising that a professed fiscal conservative would be opposed to preventative health care for women, which not only improves the health of women and their families, but saves the government money when illness is caught and treated early on.

O’Reilly is wrong to suggest that women’s health care is the reason businesses aren’t hiring. Corporations are reaping enormous profits and sitting on a record pile of cash, but are still sending jobs overseas or hiring less than they were before the recession. Additionally, according to a recent Wall Street Journal survey, “the main reason U.S. companies are reluctant to step up hiring is scant demand, rather than uncertainty over government policies.”

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