Dr. Robert Wirthlin and I presented a written version of the story below to Cathy McMorris Rodgers at a “Coffee with Cathy” on April 11, 2017, asking her to save our patients health care as she hurriedly cobbled together the American Health Care Act. John McCain, may he rest in peace, recognized the bill for what it was. He memorably voted down the last Senate version of the bill on the night of July 27, 2017.
McMorris Rodgers did not listen to us April 11, 2017. I sent the following as a letter to the editor to most of the newspapers in eastern Washington. It is the story I have told on many a doorstep. I reproduce it here:
In 2010 the Affordable Care Act was passed. People with diabetes, folks previously priced out of the health insurance market by their pre-existing condition, were able to afford insurance. As an ophthalmologist I was able to save or restore the sight of many of these newly insured people before it was too late, people who were then able to continue to work, to drive, to read, to see their wives and children. Over the next eight years I watched in dismay as our U.S. Representative McMorris Rodgers voted time and time again to repeal the Affordable Care Act, pre-existing conditions and all. She did so, it seemed, with a grim determination to turn back the clock. She took every opportunity to peck away at the law, weaken it, make it worse and ultimately unworkable. Now she says, “I’m offended!” at the mere suggestion she could ever vote the way she did, claiming she has always defended pre-existing conditions. Every time I see her I am reminded of the faces of the people whose sight I was able to save thanks to the law she has worked so hard to dismember and destroy. This is the reason I enthusiastically recommend you vote for Lisa Brown, a woman with compassion that extends beyond the protection of her immediate family, a woman who understands that voting matters.
Jerry E. LeClaire, M.D.
Get out and knock on doors.
Keep to the high ground,