Republican Congresswoman Blames Husband’s Death On Obamacare Glitches

This may be the most offensive comment a Republican has made to date about Obamacare. Remember when Ann Coulter claimed Obamacare killed her friend and Politifact rated that as “Pants on Fire?” I think Politifact has another story to claim. This time, it isn’t from a brain-dead pundit. It’s from a brain-dead member of Congress.

Cynthia Lummis, a Republican from Wyoming who serves in the House of Representatives, claimed that her husband’s death could have been avoided had it not been for the glitches encountered on the Obamacare exchange website, healthcare.gov. Lummis claimed that even though her husband was enrolled for insurance in the D.C. health insurance exchange, they were not enrolled in Obamacare.

“When we filed claims, we were told we were not enrolled in Obamacare,” the Congresswoman claimed. The couple filed claims once more, Lummis continued, and once again they were told they were not enrolled in the federal exchange.

“My husband was having chest pains at the time that he was told we were not enrolled in Obamacare, and come to find out, he didn’t have all of the tests that he was advised by his physician to have,” said Lummis. “So on October 24, a week before the election, my husband went to sleep and never woke up.”

Representative Lummis’s husband was Alvin Wiederspahn, a former Democratic member of the Wyoming State House.

These comments came during a Congressional hearing featuring Jonathan Gruber, the “Obamacare architect” who accused the American voter of being stupid.

The reason he died? According to Lummis, he had chosen to forgo the test that was prescribed by his doctor because of their confusion over his enrollment status.

So she didn’t sound insane, Lummis quickly denied that it was solely Obamacare that killed her husband:

“I’m not telling you that my husband died because of Obamacare. He died because he had a massive heart attack in his sleep. But I am telling you that during the course of time that he was having tests by a physician and was told we were not covered by Obamacare, that he then decided not to have the last test the doctor asked him to have.”

“I want to suggest that regardless of what happened to me personally, that there have been so many glitches in the passage and implementation of Obamacare that have real-life consequences on people’s lives,” she said. “And the so-called glibness that has been referenced today [has] direct consequences for real American people. So get over your damn glibness.”

Contrary to popular right-wing memes and rumors over Fox News and Facebook, Members of Congress are actually required to get their health insurance from the Obamacare exchanges because of an amendment to the law which was authored by Senator Chuck Grassley. Before the amendment, lawmakers had received the same health benefits as federal employees. How low does one Republican have to sink, being resentful over her husbands death, that she would try to tear down a magnificent law and deny others the chance to get the test her husband was told to get and he chose to ignore?

Cynthia Lummis is actually among one of the richest members of Congress. In 2007-2008, Representative Lummis’ financial disclosure forms reported a net worth between $20 million and $75 million. Most of Lummis’ wealth comes from her family-owned Arp and Hammond Company, Lummis Livestock Company, and Old Horse Pasture Inc. Part of me thinks they could have afforded to pay for the tests themselves. That he supposedly chose not to do the tests because of lack of coverage is very hard to believe.  I’m not aware of any medical test that is going to come close to putting a dent in that kind of bank.

Obamacare wasn’t designed for people who have $20-$75 million. It was passed so the rest of us, who are either self-employed or have no access to insurance, can afford health care. It’s not the fault of the law that Lummis’s husband chose not to get a potentially life saving test – if he chose not to get the test.

Congratulations, GOP. You now have another desperate, health care-hating Republican, lying to the American people to drum up fear over the non-existent “death panels” your side keeps harping on and on about.

Featured image courtesy of Gage Skidmore on Flickr.