Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) re-tweeted a photo of the GOP Freedom Caucus meeting to discuss healthcare Thursday afternoon, with a nod toward a notable error: there is not a single woman or person of color present.
The photo of Vice President Pence surrounded by caucus members (below) drew plenty of criticism on social media. As Republicans struggle to push forward a replacement for former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act, many people are left worrying whether care that applies to women — including mammograms and maternity coverage — will no longer be considered an essential health benefit. In addition, critics assert the GOP’s bill would be potentially devastating to low-income families, seniors, and people living with disabilities.
Adding fuel to the fire was Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) who, when asked about eliminating the essential benefits by a reporter, said, “I wouldn’t want to lose my mammograms.”
Roberts has since apologized for the comment on Twitter.
“I deeply regret my comments on a very important topic. Mammograms are essential to women’s health & I never intended to indicate otherwise,” he wrote.