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POLITICS

Rosie Pope: Health care wonk

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Nikki Schwab

Bravo reality TV star, book author and walking pregnancy encyclopedia Rosie Pope can also get into the minutiae of health care policy when she wants to.

On Tuesday, Yeas & Nays talked to the "Pregnant in Heels" star about her new book "Mommy IQ" and her forthcoming trip to Washington. She'll just be appearing at the Bethesda Row "Writers on the Row" event on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., but if it was up to her, she'd be talking to Congress, too. "Absolutely," she said of testifying before lawmakers. "Maybe I could do it while I'm there," she suggested.

Pope's feathers get ruffled over health insurance not covering things like in vitro fertilization and other fertility treatments, especially for members of the military. "I think if a veteran has fought for this country and they can't get pregnant they should be covered for IVF or any infertility treatment," Pope said. Right now, IVF is not allowed, even for injured veterans, according to the current laws.

Over the summer, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., introduced a bill that would get the Veterans Affairs Department to end the IVF ban and enhance fertility treatments available to military vets who have been injured and their spouses. In September, it cleared the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Pope also complained that, as a small-business owner, she's unable to get insurance plans for her employees that would cover IVF. "So no matter how much I want to cover my employees, I cannot and I just think this is only because of politics," she said. "They don't realize how many people's lives are affected by infertility." While her home state of New York requires insurers to cover fertility treatments, the laws exclude IVF.

Besides potentially running into lawmakers during her stay in D.C., there's a couple of former Bravo stars Pope wouldn't mind bumping into either. "I was actually a fan of the 'Housewives of D.C.,' " she told Yeas & Nays. "I don't think anybody else was, but I thought it was wild and crazy."

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