Cathy McMorris Rodgers is a Republican who has been the U.S. Representative for Washington’s 5th congressional district since 2005, and is now the highest ranking Republican woman in Congress.
She is not a fan of what is often termed Obamacare (more formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)), and so has voted dozens of times to repeal it, but that is understandable because to rise to where she is she would need to adhere to the prevailing party line.
What she famous for?
Last March, she posted to Facebook the following …
She was fishing for political propaganda of course, and so in response her constituents have provided lots of horror stories about how they hate Obamacare and want to see it gone …
… oh wait, no that is not what happened, instead solid Republican voters told her in no uncertain terms “don’t mess with Obamacare, we love it”. Here is a sampling of postings from under the above posting that made the press …
— “I work for Cancer Care Northwest. We actually have more patients with insurance and fewer having to choose treatment over bankruptcy. Cathy, I’m a diehard conservative and I’m asking you to just stop slamming Obamacare.”
— “My daughter is fighting for her life with Stage 3 breast cancer. We are about to enter a second go-round of diagnostic procedures and possibly more treatment after two full years of treatment. So yah, the Affordable Care Act is more than helping. I resent that our rep thinks the only problems involve her personal story.”
— “Obamacare saved us when my husband was unemployed and we couldn’t afford coverage. We might have been ruined without it. My husband could not have had eye surgery needed after an accident.”
— “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, my cousin was able to get affordable insurance despite her preexisting condition. So grateful.”
— “And now my granddaughter, diagnosed with MS at age 22, can have insurance. What do you plan to do with her?”
— “My story is that I once knew seven people who couldn’t get health insurance. Now they all have it, thanks to the ACA and President Obama, and their plans are as good as the one my employer provides — and they pay less for them. Now, that’s not the kind of story you want to hear.”
— “I work as a facilitator of a task force that is overseeing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Washington state. I have learned that the ACA is helping people who did not previously have health insurance to get it. It is helping bring down costs. It is improving the quality of care.”
Almost nobody had anything negative to say, and so when faced with all this she changed her mind about it all … right?
Wrong, four days later she holds a press conference, ignores the thousands of positive reports and parrots five horror stories that she had cut-and-pasted directly from the Republican leadership website. And as was also pointed out in the press, these supposed failures were not Obamacare failures, but rather were due to failures of Republicans refusing to follow through with what was needed …
“I am a 62 year old widow and only make $8.79 an hour. I have lost my insurance coverage and cannot afford to pay for this.“
— Sandra P. from Augusta, GA
As Daily Kos user jfromga points out, Obamacare hasn’t failed “Sandra P.”—her Republican governor and legislature have failed her by refusing to expand Medicaid.
How about “Robert S.” from North Carolina?
“I received a letter last week telling me that my Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) insurance will be canceled. – Robert S. from Durham, NC”
Sorry, Robert S., but your plan was bunk to begin with. As Rachel Maddow and others have noted, these were junk plans that the ACA shut down because they were bad for consumers.
In other words, she ignored the thousands of positive stories delivered directly to her Facebook feed and instead promoted horror stories that were either due to intransigence by her own party, or were due to something not related to Obamacare in nay way; gosh how very Republican of her that all was.
By completely ignoring what is clearly in the best interests of those that vote for her, her safe seat will potentially and also hopefully no longer be safe because quite clearly she has decided not to represent the best interests of those that elected her.
Why am I talking about this now?
This was all last March. Well yes, but we are about to enter an election year, and so the point here is that it is no longer just another election, because Obamacare has been a huge life changer for millions of people. It has transformed countless numbers of lives for the better, and so when faced with a choice between voting for a party that wants to roll all that back or voting for those who want to maintain it, then who exactly do you think those millions will be voting for?
If indeed there is a rational voting decision to be made, then would anybody seriously vote to support those who do not represent them or their interests?
Perhaps yes, because often people vote for irrational emotional reasons, but healthcare is also a very emotional aspect of our lives, and that just might indeed be a tipping point for many hardcore Republican voters.
“The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens.” – Jimmy Carter
Meanwhile, Cathy McMorris Rodgers is not going to change her mind about this … ever, despite the facts, and here is why …
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair