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Roger’s Rules

The Human Face of Obamacare

February 24th, 2014 - 6:25 am

If you like your president, you can keep him. Period. But what if you don’t? Stephen Blackwood, the president of the fledging Ralston College in Savannah, Georgia, has a sad, infuriating piece about his mother’s experience with Obamacare this morning in the Wall Street Journal. We’ve all heard stories — but not as frequently as we ought to hear them from sources like the New York Times and other Obama enablers – about people whose insurance was was suddenly cancelled because it was deemed to be “illegal” or otherwise inadequate according to our masters in Washington (who by the way do not have to worry about the same thing happening to them, since Obamacare doesn’t apply to the political elite, only to us peasants).

In some ways Stephen Blackwood’s case is typical. His mother, who had been diagnosed with a particularly nasty form of cancer in 2005 when she was only 49, had been receiving treatment through her insurer. She had had the Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan for nearly 20 years.  It was expensive, but so was her treatment. “It gave her access to any specialist or surgeon, and to the Sandostatin and other medications that were keeping her alive.” Then came November. She, like millions of other Americans, woke up one day and found out that her plan was cancelled.  So when Obama  said (as he said over and over and over again when selling Obamacare) “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan, period,” he really meant: “Ha, ha, you just put the federal government in charge of your health care and now we can do whatever we want whenever we want. Period.”

The story Stephen Blackwood tells is like something out of Kafka—or, perhaps a closer analogy, like something out a totalitarian satrap, for there is nothing fictional about this nightmare. The mind-numbing bureaucracy. The stunning incompetence. The casual, unthinking brutality. It’s all there, coming to a shattered life near you. One day Mrs. Blackwood had the health insurance plan she had paid for for two decades. Then, “because our lawmakers and president thought they could do better, she had nothing.” Nothing. Nada. Nichts. Rien.

What happened next? First, “Because the exchange website in her state (Virginia) was not working, she went directly to insurers’ websites and telephoned them, one by one, over dozens of hours.”  Mrs. Blackwood was no naif. “As a medical-office manager, she had decades of experience navigating the enormous problems of even our pre-ObamaCare system.” She knew her way around the medical paperchase. But “nothing could have prepared her for the bureaucratic morass she now had to traverse.”

As many people warned before the hilariously named “Affordable Care Act” came on line, its implementation, from an administrative point of view, would be like putting the DMV in charge of your health care. “The repeated and prolonged phone waits were Sisyphean,” Mr. Blackwood reports, “the competence and customer service abysmal.” Was there light at the end of the tunnel? “When finally she found a plan that looked like it would cover her Sandostatin and other cancer treatments, she called the insurer,  Humana, to confirm that it would do so.” How dark is your sense of humor? It looked good—at first.

The enrollment agent said that after she met her deductible, all treatments and medications—including those for her cancer—would be covered at 100%. Because, however, the enrollment agents did not—unbelievable though this may seem—have access to the “coverage formularies” for the plans they were selling, they said the only way to find out in detail what was in the plan was to buy the plan. (Does that remind you of anyone?)

And just as Nancy’s Pelosi’s horrible Madame-Defarge-like rictus was the prelude to the disillusionment that is Obamacare in action, so it was here. Mrs. Blackwood, with no other options, bought the plan. Come January, it still wasn’t showing up online. She called, repeatedly, to confirm that it was active. The agent told her: “Don’t worry, it’s not my life.”  No, actually, he said, “Don’t worry, you’re definitely covered.”

Then on Feb. 12, just before going into (yet another) surgery, she was informed by Humana that, Oh, by the way, we are not going to cover that drug Sandostatin, or other your other cancer-related medications.  Since January 1, Mr.  Blackwood reports, the cost of the Sandostatin alone was $14,000.

Think about that.

Again, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama can afford to pass the bill, then find out what’s in it, because it does not apply to them. But, assuming you are not George Soros, how would you like to get a bill for $14,000 for a month and a half worth of medication? $14,000 (just for that one drug) and Humana (I include the link in case you wish to write to tell them what you think of them) was not going to pay.

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Top Rated Comments   
So one person's mother dies from cancer. Is that really such a big deal compared to Sandra Fluke getting her free birth control? We need to get our priorities straight here.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, what you're missing is how restrictive the grandfathering rules that HHS later promulgated are. Your premiums can change (perhaps within limits), but changes in deductibles, co-pays, and a variety of other things will make the plan not eligible for grandfathering (the new mandates weren't an issue). When I last checked, quite some time ago, estimates of required plan cancellations were as high as 90% for the individual market.

Obama did at the last minute try to undo this, but insurance companies and state insurance regulators cannot turn on a dime, and many of the latter are outright refusing.

As a side note, I'm amazed at how many people are downplaying or worse the fates of people who are dead or prematurely dying because of Obamacare. Do you really think all these anecdotes are bogus?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama: "I'm really good at killing people"

And we thought he was just talking about aerial drones. But he has also deployed the Obamacare drones who are proving even more effective.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (121)
All Comments   (121)
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The problem was "pre-existing condition" which is always a concern for private insurance. And the fact that Humana would lose money if they had to pay for the medication. This is always a problem when a person has to switch insurances. I should note that even under national insurance systems that extremely expensive medications may not be covered. I do know that this is true with the British NHS. Some drug manufacturers do offer "assistance" to those who qualify because of income. She might want to check with the drug manufacturer about this.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. Likewise, you have to kill a few cancer patients to make a perfect health insurance. Socialist have always understood that those who stand in the way of progress are best left on the side of the road with a $0.05 bullet in the back of the head.
Reeducation is much more expensive, and rarely works.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Only fault I can find in your observation is that DHS pays more like $0.50 a round for their massive ammo procurements. Other than that, yep you nailed it.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
The 300 lb. gorilla in the room is......."I can do whatever the hell I want, because I'm the 1st Black President. No matter how much I lie, how much damage I do to the economy, America's national standing, playing games with people's lives via screwing up the healthcare system, etc, etc, EVERYONE will pull their punches with me". Sorry, but if a White man did 1/10 of the damage Obama has done, the wolves would be at the door. We, as a nation, have allowed this evil piece of garbage to thumb his nose in our faces. We sit there and take it, because we're scared to death of being called racists. We are impotent, completely cowed by political correctness. This man is destroying this once great country, and even in our complete disgust, in the back of our minds we think "better choose our words carefully, he's Black, you know".
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Sorry, but if a White man did 1/10 of the damage Obama has done, the wolves would be at the door." His name was Richard Nixon and the wolves got him.
On the question of impotence: there are enough elections that turn near the center to change the balances in Congress. Eventually we can change the presidency as well. We need to show more toward the center that the conservative-libertarian concept is better for them and better for the nation than the goodies-for-all-while-we-tighten-the-chains "progressive" agenda. I don't understand why that's so hard, but it is. Impotent, though, we are not.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
MTG, I don't understand your statement. As our Presidential candidates we've had Bob Dole, G H W Bush, John McCain, G W Bush and Mitt Romney. Which one of those is the Conservative?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
C'mon, haven't we heard enough of this Obama Promise not kept nonsense?

Look, it's not like he did something really evil to people, like say placing traffic cones on a bridge somewhere - now if he'd done that, I could understand harping on it like this.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
At some point in the not-too-distant future, even the most mild-mannered and even-tempered from among us might find themselves singing--with new meaning--the words to the old Rolling Stones tune: "The time is right for fighting in the street, boy."

Or, then again, maybe not . . .
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sure McConnell, Boehner and Rove are outraged about this and are doing everything in their power to fix the problem post haste.

Step 1, of course, is to re-elect McConnell.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
While posting these stories every day (and broadcasting them in every electoral race where a Democrat is running) will help in the political battle, I'm afraid the full solution to the problem will involve lots of lamp posts....
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hitler had the death camps. Obama has the ACA. This isn't about affordable health care for anyone who actually needs it today. It's about ensuring that the truly sick perish to make way in society for those who are either the producers or the supporters of the politburo.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
We've really got to stop using the "DMV" thing. First of all, that's a STATE agency and second, tell me what you would do to liven up your local DMV. The people who work there are doing a deadly boring job day after day with a bunch of crabby and often nasty customers. I know! Lets just let everyone drive without a driver's license, proof of insurance and all that other BS.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wow. Chill out.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
You may be an Obama supporter, but are you really willing to support others who will be given your tax money to pay for their health insurance? Your rates go up to support them and your annual deductible amount goes up, too. Obama is trying to delay this, but from then on FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE you will pay those higher rates and deductible costs. Since the Democrats all voted for it, they can’t be depended on to join the effort. It’s up to us to vote for Republicans to get enough people in office who want to repeal the law. This is for all government levels. Remember, it’s YOUR money so vote your pocketbook. This situation is hardly different from your taxes being assigned to support an illegal alien, and that will happen when Amnesty is the law. If you don’t believe that surprise is buried in Obamacare, see
http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2012/october/11/health-care-immigrants.aspx Also, medical taxes go up in 2014. See http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-taxes.php Join with us to our mutual benefit in the Primary elections and in November 2014. After obamacare is repealed or defunded we can go back to our normal bickering.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
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