Republican Congresswoman From WA Asks for Obamacare Horror Stories on Facebook… And Then Becomes One

Virtually everyone who posts something online wants it to go viral.  I’ll be the first to admit it.  It has happened to me in the past, and it’s exhilarating.  Watching your hit counter skyrocket, seeing the Facebook likes and Twitter retweets pile in, hearing that something you write is ranked #1 on Reddit… it can make a person forgo a night’s sleep, just to keep hitting “refresh” and watch the numbers climb.  A few days ago, a Republican Congresswoman from Washington state, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, went viral.

She posted a graphic on her Facebook page to commemorate the 5-year anniversary of the signing of Obamacare, more appropriately named the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The image was representative of GOP Obamacare rhetoric, suggesting the law resulted in increased insurance premiums, reduction of work hours, tax-filing nightmares, etc.  To add to the misrepresentation, Rep. McMorris Rodgers, who happens to be the highest ranking Republican woman in Congress, asked her Facebook followers to share their stories of how Obamacare has had such a negative effect on their lives.

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The result was amazing.  Thousands of visitors left their stories, and are still adding them.  But those stories consisted of testimonials describing how the ACA improved lives, allowing those with pre-existing conditions to finally be able to afford, or in many cases obtain, insurance and medical care.  There were also comments from the Congresswoman’s  constituents, lambasting her for contributing to “politics as usual,” attempting to tear down an act that has done so much for so many, rather than work to improve its shortcomings.

Rather than go on and on about what comments were left, I encourage you to read and share:  Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ Obamacare Post.

And just in case she feels the pressure her own viral post has placed on her and takes it down, here are a couple screen shots of comments:

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Will this reaction change her mind on the Affordable Care Act?  Maybe, but since the stances politicians take on issues are molded primarily by donors and lobbyists, I doubt she’ll let on.  Will she learn something?  I hope so.

Rep. McMorris Rodgers has an opportunity to be courageous and honorable.  She could recognize the reaction to her antagonistically-spirited post and be an example for her Republican colleagues who have wasted so much time and taxpayer money on the useless exercise of voting for the repeal of a law that has helped so many.  She could leverage her position of authority in Congress to show others that it’s ok to admit the truth and be united as a nation, rather than be more divided than ever.  She could change the rhetoric from “Repeal at all costs” to “Enhance in order to serve the nation.”   She could help our broken government move from gridlock to progress by blazing a trail of cooperation and honesty.

I’m hopeful but pessimistic, and I’ll be watching.

About Kevin Davis

Kevin Davis is the head writer and editor for SecularVoices, and the author of Understanding an Atheist: A Practical Guide to Relating to Nonbelievers, a book aimed at improving relationships between the religious and their atheist loved ones. Kevin is also the Executive Director of Young Skeptics, an elementary-level after-school program for kids focused on critical thinking. Guest bloggers are welcome at SecularVoices. Please email submissions to contact@secularvoices.org.

  • http://www.facebook.com/100000038326315 Carolyn Ohl

    I have three adult children. The one with Rheumatoid Arthritis got on ACA. Thereafter the specialist she was going to refused to see her. Not one RA specialist in Austin would agree to see her. Luckily she married and got on her husband’s insurance because her untreated RA symptoms were getting worse and worse. Now she’s seeing a good specialist and doing much better. My youngest son got on ACA. He never sees a Dr but his wife has a kidney problem. The ACA pays very little and she desperately needs surgery but they can’t afford the part they would have to pay out of pocket (around $20,000 I understand), so she languishes in bed all day every day. My third child, (son) can’t afford to get ACA, so he’s paying the penalty, which is cheaper. I started out enthused about ACA, but have since become very disillusioned with it. All my acquaintances have horror stories about it too.

    • http://dividedundergod.com Kevin Davis

      Carolyn, since the ACA is not an insurance policy — rather the formation of a market to buy insurance directly from carriers who can no longer be prejudicial over pre-existing conditions, I’m wondering if the plans your kids selected were insufficient for the treatment they were seeking, rather than being denied because of where they purchased the plans. The ACA is simply a conduit to get insurance, not a plan in itself, so your comment is a bit confusing. I also doubt that “all your acquaintances” have horror stories about the ACA. Everyone you know bought a plan through the marketplace? That’s hard to believe.

    • http://www.facebook.com/100001962837531 Chris Muir

      You’re kidding, right? There are doctors refusing to take patients with health insurance?
      Ah, but The ACA is not insurance, it is a way to buy insurance through an exchange, making it easier to compare features and prices. So, how could doctors even know if someone had purchased insurance through the exchange, let alone refuse them – unless they refused all insured patients, which would mean refusing almost all patients.
      No, I smell a plant here, a right-wing operative making up a horror story to spread disinformation and fear to promote the Republican cause and damage the President. Sorry, we’re on to you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/100001962837531 Chris Muir

        Or, it could be a real big mis-understanding. Perhaps the insurance that Ms. Ohl’s child got has a bad reputation for not paying specialists, which would explain why the doctors are refusing those patients – it’s not the patient, it’s the insurer. But that’s the fault of the of the insurance company, and the ACA isn’t the insurance company.
        Or it could be Medicaid, the Government health insurance for low income people. Medicaid has strict cost controls in place to avoid wasteful spending and overpriced medical services, and some doctors don’t like those cost controls and refuse Medicaid patients. But Medicaid was in existence long before the ACA was even proposed, and while it is listed on the exchange like other insurers, it is not actually part of the ACA.
        So, if Ms. Ohl’s child doesn’t like their health insurance, they can get a different one, thanks to the ACA exchanges and the elimination of the “pre-existing condition” restriction that the ACA provides.

      • Tammy Bevins

        I think you hit the nail right on the head, Chris Muir. My daughter has State operated healthcare (for low income families). They have a terrible reputation for not paying Doctors, and she needs a specialist. Most specialists refuse her healthcare plan. So it’s not her, it’s the plan she’s on, which is the State operated healthcare system. I have heard this many times from other people in my State, who cannot visit doctors because they do not like the billing practices of AHCCCS (our State healthcare for low income persons).

    • Mikey

      I have a very difficult time believing your story. Either you are lying or your kids are not using their brains. Considering your basic misunderstandings of the ACA and the far-fetched nature of your story, I am going to speculate that this is nothing short of a lie.

  • http://gravatar.com/labman57 labman57

    “Obamacare is a complete disaster that must be killed” is another Republican baseless conclusion desperately in search of a rationalization.

  • Philip Boncer

    I would appreciate it if this site stuck with its stated purpose of dealing with issues relating to religious interference with government. The ACA has nothing in itself to do with religion, with regard to normal operations. I am an atheist, and have a string interest in the separation of church and state. I am also a libertarian, and have a strong interest in a small, affordable, sustainable government. There is no reason at all why atheists would necessarily be liberal/leftist/progressive, and skewing the politics of this site in that way will hamper the ability of atheists of varying values and beliefs being able to work together on the issues this site is supposed to be about.

    • http://dividedundergod.com Kevin Davis

      Philip, thanks for your feedback and your interest in church/state separation issues. While I understand your concern, I felt this was an article that wold be of interest to most (but obviously not all) of my readers. Based on the traffic spike over the past two days, I was correct in that assumption. This has been one of my most popular pieces actually. But in regards to humanism, I felt this was an applicable issue. I feel that passing laws that will allow more people to access heath care and survive treatable illnesses, rather than succumb to them at the hands of greedy insurance companies who would rather drop them and watch them die, is right in line with humanistic ideals. While I agree that this topic is not related to church/state separation per se, I still feel it to be an important one to have a dialogue on. If you’d like to filter your content to strictly church/state issues in the future, feel free to bookmark http://dividedundergod.com/category/posts-by-topic/church-state/ and that’s all you’ll get. Thank you for subscribing, and I assure you, the story coming out today will definitely be up your alley!

      -Kevin