I think by now, we all realize that “you will be able to keep your insurance if you like it”, and “we will pay for all of this without raising taxes on anyone making less that $250,000” are probably not exactly accurate. And, of course, Rep. Joe Wilson (R. S.C.) exposed the “illegal aliens” will not be covered myth. However, thanks to Scott Harrington‘s article in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, we learn that certain other statements made by the President last Wednesday night were, well,” not exactly”.
Mr. Obama referred to an Illinois man who “lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because his insurer found he hadn’t reported gallstones that he didn’t even know about.” The president continued: “They delayed his treatment, and he died because of it.”
The Illinois man’s sister recalls the facts quite differently. She testified before a House Subcommittee on June 16 that, after originally declining coverage, the insurance company reversed its decision. She continued that,
her brother received a prescribed stem-cell transplant within the desired three- to four-week “window of opportunity” from “one of the most renowned doctors in the whole world on the specific routine,” that the procedure “was extremely successful,” and that “it extended his life nearly three and a half years.”
And, there is more. The President, in trying to demonstrate that the public option is necessary to keep insurance companies “honest”, used Alabama as an example. He claimed that one insurer in Alabama controlled 90% of the market, and said that such control,
“makes it easier for insurance companies to treat their customers badly—by cherry-picking the healthiest individuals and trying to drop the sickest; by overcharging small businesses who have no leverage; and by jacking up rates.”
Within moments, the Birmingham News took issue with that statement as well. The insurance company is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, and it actually has 75% of the market in Alabama. Not only is it not “overcharging small business”, and “jacking up rates”,
its “profit” averaged only 0.6% of premiums the past decade, and that its administrative expense ratio is 7% of premiums, the fourth lowest among 39 Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans nationwide.
And, were that not enough,
Consumer Reports this month reported that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama ranked second nationally in customer satisfaction among 41 preferred provider organization health plans. The insurer’s apparent efficiency may explain its dominance, as opposed to a lack of competition—especially since there are no obvious barriers to entry or expansion in Alabama faced by large national health insurers such as United Healthcare and Aetna.
If Obamacare is suppossed to be the best thing to ever come down the pike, why does the administration feel compelled to distort reality to peddle it to the American public?