For much of 2013 and 2014, Republicans were on a quest to discover “Obamacare victims.” GOP officials were convinced the Affordable Care Act was wreaking havoc on families’ lives, and Republicans everywhere were hunting for horror stories.
In nearly every instance, those stories fell apart in the face of routine scrutiny, and most of the “victims” were actually far better off with the ACA than without it. One of the more notable examples arose early last year when Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the House Republican Conference chair, used her party’s official response to the State of the Union to introduce America to “Bette in Spokane.”
Predictably, the story unraveled and McMorris Rodgers was pressed for an apology after pushing a misleading story. A year later, the Republican congresswoman hasn’t given up.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the House GOP conference, took to Facebook to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act by asking to hear real-life horror stories from real people.
This did not go according to plan. McMorris Rodgers generated plenty of responses, most of which were from people who see the ACA as a lifesaver for their families.
I’m not altogether sure what the point of the endeavor was supposed to be. What exactly did the Republican congresswoman hope to accomplish?
But even putting that aside, this little incident should be a reminder to GOP lawmakers that their assumptions about “Obamacare” may not be in line with Americans’ reactions in the real world. In fact, if Republicans on the Supreme Court gut the law, consumers will be looking to folks like McMorris Rodgers to prevent systemic chaos.
Postscript: Wonkette joked, “[O]bviously, the takeaway here is that Obamacare is such a huge failure that the government is paying people to troll Facebook and lie about how much they like the ACA, because liberals are congenital liars, and poor Cathy McMorris Rodgers is a victim of cyberbullying, the end.”
Wonkette was kidding, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if this line took root in conservative media fairly soon, if it hasn’t already.