Dropped Coverage: One Cancer-Surviving Doctor's Story in the Age of Obamacare
It's easy to get lost in the numbers: CareFirst is dropping healthcare coverage for 76,000 because of Obamacare. In Florida, Obamacare is costing 300,000 their health insurance. State by state, Americans can expect to pay more to get less from the health insurance, again thanks to Obamacare. Millions of Americans who actually wanted to purchase health insurance through Healthcare.gov cannot, because the site was poorly built, still doesn't work, and the Obama administration has yet to hold anyone accountable.
Behind all of these numbers, though, are real people.
Dr. Shaun Carpenter, 41, is a board certified emergency physician in the New Orleans area. He was part of a rescue team that helped evacuate critical patients during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Dr. Carpenter is a family man, father of three children with another on the way. He also owns his own business, a private medical practice, and has several patents pending for wound-healing products.
Carpenter says that hospitals tend to treat ER physicians as independent contractors, so he was not allowed to join his hospital's group health insurance policy. He and his family elected to obtain coverage through his wife's employer.
Shaun Carpenter is also a patient. A few years ago he was diagnosed with a serious blood disorder called hereditary hemochromatosis.
"Hemochromatosis causes extra iron to gradually build up in the body’s tissues and organs. After many years, the excess iron becomes toxic—causing a slow death where the body literally rusts from the inside out," he says in Iron Men, a documentary about the disease. He discovered that he had the painful condition after his brother was diagnosed with it.
Hereditary hemochromatosis is treatable and can be controlled through diet, but it can also get you labeled as carrying a pre-existing condition.
Add to the hemochromatosis, which is now under control, Dr. Carpenter has been stricken with cancer twice. He suffered and beat both lymphoma and melanoma, in 2003 and 2005, respectively.