An aide to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R–Wash.) today disputed a newspaper account from her district that the House’s No. 4 Republican considers Obamacare to be a fixture that likely won’t be repealed. However, the reporter who wrote the story responded by saying McMorris Rodgers used the word “probably” when asked whether the Affordable Care Act is “here to stay.”
The Spokane Spokesman-Review’s report got some attention over the weekend after the summary of an interview with McMorris Rodgers ran Friday under this headline: ‘McMorris Rodgers says ACA likely to stay.’
The story by reporter Kip Hill paraphrased the Washington Republican as saying “it’s unlikely the Affordable Care Act will be repealed” and that “the framework established by the law likely will persist and reforms should take place within its structure.”
McMorris isn’t directly quoted saying either thing, Press Secretary Riva Litman said in an email to The Foundry:
The congresswoman does not write headlines. As was made abundantly clear in the interview, the congresswoman believes Obamacare’s government-centered, one-size fits all approach is not working, and will never work on multiple fronts, which is why she has voted numerous times to repeal it and will continue to work to repeal it at every opportunity.
The Spokesman-Review story includes direct quotes of McMorris Rodgers saying that Obamacare “is a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach to health care,” and “We need to look at reforming the [health insurance] exchanges.”
Hill, the reporter, told The Foundry that one of two editors conducting the interview with him Thursday had cited the fact that 600,000 state residents had signed up for health insurance through state exchanges, then asked McMorris Rodgers: “Is Obamacare here to stay?”
“Her response was ‘Probably,’ ” Hill said, adding that he had spoken again with the participating editors. “We can’t remember the word ‘repeal’ coming up.”
Obamacare took up perhaps 10 to 15 minutes of an interview lasting about an hour, he said, and related points by McMorris Rodgers were mostly about ways to change or reform the health care law.
Although the newspaper doesn’t have an audio recording of the interview, Hill said, “I did take notes.”
Asked to comment on Hill’s account of the “probably” response, McMorris Rodgers’ spokeswoman said:
As I said before, the congresswoman has always supported repealing Obamacare (and her voting record reflects that). But since Obamacare is still the law as of right now, her focus is on improving the lives of those being negatively affected by it.
This story was produced by The Foundry’s news team. Nothing here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation.