Posted November 13, 2013 at 12:00 pm, in Allied Approaches
As the week began, another “Obamacare” horror story hit the press, instigating a fleet of outrage-pornographers and concern trolls across the political spectrum to continue self-flagellating and screeching about the disastrous Affordable Care Act — selectively forgetting about actual healthcare horror stories that existed before the law was implemented. It was a story focusing on yet another vague, anecdotal tale about a hapless ACA victim whose insurance policy was canceled, thus vindicating the accusation that the president lied about “keeping your existing insurance policy if you like it.”
Before we dive into the lie accusation, let’s take a closer look at an op/ed for the Wall Street Journal written by a stage-4 gallbladder cancer survivor, Edie Littlefield Sundby.
Sundby wrote that she received a letter from UnitedHealthcare announcing the cancellation of her insurance policy. She was advised to seek a different plan from the ACA exchange in California, known as Cover California. However, she claimed that there aren’t any insurance plans in the exchange that are accepted by both her primary care doctors at University of California San Diego, and her oncologists at and Stanford, thus forcing her to choose one or the other.
But here’s the thing: Sundby wasn’t shoved into this predicament because the ACA law forced her insurance provider out of the ballgame. UnitedHealthcare, one of the most notorious insurance providers before the ACA was passed, responsible for canceling policies and penalizing customers, decided to voluntarily bail out of the individual insurance game as a matter of corporate strategy. In doing so, it could avoid taking on less healthy customers early in the exchange sign-up process, forcing other insurers to absorb the risk. Clever. And sinister. (more…)