We need to be able to have those conversations

This morning, House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined National Review’s Ericka Andersen for a Facebook LIVE interview to talk about the importance of unity and civility, her love for the disability community, why Republicans are working to create a better health care future for every American.

Check out the full discussion here:

Interview with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Listen in as Ericka Andersen speaks with House Republicans Chair Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. The Congresswoman tells her personal story of raising a son with Down Syndrome and how that has affected her views on healthcare, empowering the disability community and more. They also discuss how to restore civility to politics and create important discussions around the issues that divide us today. ABLE and ABLE 2.0 Act: https://mcmorris.house.gov/able/Facebook Live tour of the Capitol Candy Jar: https://www.facebook.com/washingtonpostpolitics/videos/10155545174599729/Washington Post op/ed on healthcare & pre-existing coniditions: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/my-son-has-a-preexisting-condition-hes-one-of-the-reasons-i-voted-for-the-ahca/2017/05/04/26c234b2-30fd-11e7-9534-00e4656c22aa_story.html?utm_term=.41740f5e31a6

Posted by National Review on jueves, 29 de junio de 2017

Here are the highlights:

LIFE IS PRECIOUS

“I’m a pro-life legislator. I believe that every life has value and should be celebrated. I was 35 and single when I was elected to Congress and then I got married. I was so excited to become pregnant and give birth. There’s nothing more amazing in the world than becoming a mom. Cole was born with that extra 21st chromosome. It wasn’t what I expected, but he only reinforces that every life is precious and has value. Cole has taught me a lot…now, I am proud to be part of the disabilities community. It’s a group of people that celebrate all that life has to offer…”

WORK IS A SOURCE OF DIGNITY

“I’m excited with what [Cole] teaches me every day. I’m also aware that we need to do more to ensure that those with disabilities are given the opportunities to work, to have a job. We have a lot of government programs in place to help those with disabilities, but so often it means that they are limited to a life of poverty, that in order to qualify for these programs you can’t have many assets. …for a lot of them, they feel like they don’t have the opportunity to work. So I’m really excited about the next frontier for the disabilities community, which is really the opportunity to work. If you look at the employment rate for people with disabilities, it’s not even at 20 percent. It hasn’t changed for the last 40 years. …a job is so foundational in our lives. It’s what gives us purpose. It gives us an opportunity for a better life. So I’m excited about some legislation that I’m working on in that regard.”

Read more about the McMorris Rodgers’ ABLE 2.0 legislative package here.

ADVICE FOR NEW PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES

“I want them to know that this baby is going to bring them so much joy. It’s not going to be the path that they imagined. It’s going to be a little different, but it’s going to be really good. It’s difficult to receive that news…it’s the fear of the unknown. There’s something in us, I don’t know — we imagine the worst at times. And even when Cole was born, I remember at one point they brought Brian and I into a room. There was a group of people — the doctor, the social worker, and others, talking to us about this diagnosis, talking to us about what it would mean. But it was just a long list of everything that could go wrong…at the time it felt overwhelming. Now that I’m a little bit beyond it, I think that if any parent upon the birth of their child were told the likelihood that something’s going to go wrong…it would be overwhelming for any parent. My encouragement…is that this baby is pretty much like any other baby. And yes, there are some challenges that come with having that extra 21st chromosome…but my eyes have been opened. I see anew what every person has to offer. And we all, to a certain degree, have limitations….what I appreciate most about the disabilities community is that they focus on the positives.”

A BETTER HEALTH CARE FUTURE FOR EVERY AMERICAN

“I am on a mission to ensure every person in this country has the opportunity for a better life. And unfortunately Obamacare — though well-intentioned — is a top-down approach, a federal-government-knows-best approach to decision-making. That is not going to result in a health care system that’s going to be individualized, where health care decisions are made by the patient and the doctor. I believe we need to get back to that doctor-patient relationship. I think it’s very important that we protect people with pre-existing conditions. That protection should be in the law, and must be maintained.”

PROTECTING THE MOST VULNERABLE

“Medicaid is a very important safety net program. It meets the needs of some of our most vulnerable. We need to make sure that we maintain it. As Medicaid was expanded under Obamacare, it was really expanded…   [to] able-bodied adults, and unfortunately what that really meant is that able-bodied adults were crowding out some of the most vulnerable…I believe it is very important that we have Medicaid, but that, for able-bodied adults… I want them to have options in the marketplace so that they can get health insurance without being on Medicaid. Medicaid should be for the most vulnerable–for those with disabilities, the blind, some of the low-income seniors–that it was intended to serve…we need to focus Medicaid in that way. I’m excited about Medicaid being given more flexibility at the state level where they can focus–where each state can focus on a structure that will ensure better outcomes at a lower cost but really be able to meet the needs of the individual rather than getting lost in a huge bureaucracy that unfortunately is not personalized and is not individualized.”

THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE, AND A CALL FOR CIVILITY

“The House of Representatives is often referred to as the ’People’s House.’ It’s where we have the battle of ideas. But we need to have that debate over ideas in a civil way. We need to respect one another. I think it’s just so basic and fundamental. I’m very concerned that if we continue down this path where it’s very divisive, that we will see more violence, we will see more destruction. That’s where I feel it’s very important that I as a leader, as a representative of the people of Eastern Washington, do my part to bring people together, to be able to have that constructive conversation.”

AMERICA CAN, AND SHOULD LEAD ON HEALTH CARE

“..I have met with individuals in Eastern Washington, families that are on Medicaid, that believe that the bill that I supported in the House is actually going to take their Medicaid away — totally take it away — and they are scared to death. They don’t know what they’re going to do without Medicaid. And it’s simply not true…that is one example, but it is so divisive right now. There’s a lot of misrepresentation of the health care bill…it just makes me so sad. My heart breaks for the people who are being told something that is not true for political purposes. We need to be able to have a debate over the future of health care in this country…I want everyone in this country to have access to quality, affordable health care. I want America to lead the world in health innovation. Having a son with disabilities only makes me more excited about the breakthroughs and the research and what’s possible.”