Fresh off the back of the story we broke last week Thousands Lost Their Homes While Rep. Katie Porter Made Six Figures several people online are pointing out a curious quote that Porter had during a congressional hearing on medical bills.
The Ways & Means Health Subcommittee held a recent hearing on the topic of protecting patients from surprise medical bills led by chairman Lloyd Doggett.
In the video above starting at the 15:15 mark, California Congresswoman Katie Porter (D – Irvine) tells a story about needing to go to the emergency room while on the campaign trail last year. After experiencing pain in her abdomen, she was taken to Hoag hospital in Irvine.
The doctors assured her she would just need a routine appendectomy and Porter had chosen to go to Hoag hospital because it was in her insurance network.
A few weeks later after recovering at home, Porter received a bill from the surgeon that claimed that even though the hospital was in-network, the doctor who performed the surgery that day was not.
After a great deal of back and forth trying to understand why the surgery was not covered, a patient advocate from her employe UC Irvine was put on the case to help resolve it.
Porter admits in the testimony that the final key for getting relief was when the patient advocate used Porter’s elected status as leverage against the insurance company.
“Finally, the patient advocate, invoking the fact that I had just been elected to Congress, was able to get the insurance company to agree to pay my surgeon’s bill.”
This is typical of politicians to use their clout as elected officials to help themselves personally, but it’s surprising and sad coming from someone like Rep. Katie Porter who has branded herself as the chief defender of consumer rights in the House. Katie Porter paints herself as an outsider that just wants to help people but then stories like this one and like the stories of people losing their homes while she oversaw the 2008 financial crisis relief payments come out and makes you start to double think.