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Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) makes air quotes as she talks about
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers had quite the Obamacare horror story to tell, as databob has chronicled. And, as databob uncovered, that horror story has been about like every other Obamacare horror story: a person losing junk insurance who hadn't bothered to find out what she'd have to pay on the exchange. Follow up reporting has demonstrated that "Bette in Spokane," the constituent McMorris Rodgers said has been financially harmed by Obamacare, is in that position because she refuses to shop for affordable insurance on the health exchange.

Further examination, though, raises some questions about whether Bette Grenier might not also have been a victim of McMorris Rodgers' direct efforts to sabotage Obamacare. Greg Sargent has more, after speaking with a Democratic source who pulled out some key details from reporting done by David Wasson in the Spokesman-Review. That report made it clear that Grenier contacted McMorris Rodgers late last year "to complain after getting a letter from Asuris Northwest advising that her $552-a-month policy no longer would be offered. She sent the congresswoman’s office a copy of the letter, which included the rate quotes for the suggested replacement policies." Grenier also said someone from McMorris Rodgers' office called her last week, before the SOTU response, "but I never called him back." Sargent:

So what really happened here is that this woman contacted Rep. McMorris Rodgers to complain about the health law—and there’s no indication her Congresswoman’s aides pointed her to the exchange or indicated she could have gotten a better deal from it. Perhaps they did; this makes for a good follow-up question. But it’s certainly possible they didn’t. After all, some Republicans have openly said they won’t be helping constituents with the law. Obamacare foes like to say that’s fair game for Republican lawmakers, but even if that were true, the point is that this tactic may be harming their own constituents.
McMorris Rodgers needs to clarify exactly what assistance was given to Grenier, who was obviously calling for help. Grenier also told the local reporter "I wouldn’t go on that Obama website," but if her Republican representative's office suggested to her that she could save some money by doing so, she might have a different attitude, and having the help from her representative might also have made the difference. At least one reporter has asked McMorris Rodgers how her staff answered Grenier's complaint.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 11:26 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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