What’s the most serious threat to the country’s economic recovery? According to Staples co-founder Tom Stemberg, one possibility is breastfeeding mothers. He recently ranted about the fact that President Obama’s health care bill requires what Stemberg called “lactation chambers” for new mothers who need to breastfeed on the job. “Do you want [farming retailer] Tractor Supply to open stores or would you rather they take their capital and do what Obamacare and its 2,700 pages dictates – which is to open a lactation chamber at every single store that they have?” Careful, Tom. You do not want to piss off the breastfeeding moms.
See, you have to understand, moms, Stemberg loves breastfeeding! Some of his best friends are breastfeeders! “I’m big on breastfeeding; my wife breastfed,” the executive, who has donated at least $20,000 to Mitt Romney and his various PACs this election, added. “I’m all for that. I don’t think every retail store in America should have to go to lactation chambers, which is what Obamacare foresees.”
Yes, the horror of “lactation chambers” — they sound like something straight out of Gattaca, don’t they? In reality, the law simply mandates that employers with more than 50 employees offer lactating mothers “reasonable break time” for nursing, along with “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public.”
It does not need to be a “chamber,” which sounds fancy and expensive — moms could only hope for as much! As of the health care bill’s passage in 2010, 24 states already had laws on the books about breast-feeding in the workplace, and society had somehow managed to survive. Still, that hasn’t stopped (mostly male, surprisingly!) enemies of the bill from worrying about the “breast milk police,” and calling the provision “ridiculous.”
Unfortunately for Stemberg and his business-minded bros, all you breastfeeding moms are now living on easy street. No one has a sweeter deal than you, now that the law requires that poor, downtrodden international corporations like Staples go broke by hanging up a curtain to shield you while you express milk from your sore breasts 8 times a day while also working full-time. How’d you manage to pull that one off?