This op-ed in the Wall Street Journal is both heartbreaking and infuriating:

Everyone now is clamoring about Affordable Care Act winners and losers. I am one of the losers.

My grievance is not political; all my energies are directed to enjoying life and staying alive, and I have no time for politics. For almost seven years I have fought and survived stage-4 gallbladder cancer, with a five-year survival rate of less than 2% after diagnosis. I am a determined fighter and extremely lucky. But this luck may have just run out: My affordable, lifesaving medical insurance policy has been canceled effective Dec. 31.

My choice is to get coverage through the government health exchange and lose access to my cancer doctors, or pay much more for insurance outside the exchange (the quotes average 40% to 50% more) for the privilege of starting over with an unfamiliar insurance company and impaired benefits.

Last week, President Obama gave a speech in Boston. In the speech, he talked about substandard health insurance policies that the Affordable Care Act would eliminate. He hinted that the policies being canceled were substandard policies. Then he told people there that if their policy was canceled, they should get on the exchange and shop for better coverage, saying “That’s what it’s for.”

That hasn’t helped Edie Littlefield Sundby, the woman who wrote the op-ed:

Countless hours searching for non-exchange plans have uncovered nothing that compares well with my existing coverage. But the greatest source of frustration is Covered California, the state’s Affordable Care Act health-insurance exchange and, by some reports, one of the best such exchanges in the country. After four weeks of researching plans on the website, talking directly to government exchange counselors, insurance companies and medical providers, my insurance broker and I are as confused as ever. Time is running out and we still don’t have a clue how to best proceed.

That’s the heartbreaking part of the op-ed. Here’s the infuriating part of the op-ed:

Since March 2007 United Healthcare has paid $1.2 million to help keep me alive, and it has never once questioned any treatment or procedure recommended by my medical team. The company pays a fair price to the doctors and hospitals, on time, and is responsive to the emergency treatment requirements of late-stage cancer. Its caring people in the claims office have been readily available to talk to me and my providers.

That’s infuriating information because President Obama lied about the Affordable Care Act eliminating only substandard health insurance policies. What Ms. Sundby just desribed is anything but substandard. It’s the opposite of substandard health insurance coverage.

Before the Affordable Care Act, health-insurance policies could not be sold across state lines; now policies sold on the Affordable Care Act exchanges may not be offered across county lines.

What happened to the president’s promise, “You can keep your health plan”? Or to the promise that “You can keep your doctor”? Thanks to the law, I have been forced to give up a world-class health plan. The exchange would force me to give up a world-class physician.

Apparently, Covered California can’t offer Cadillac plans. Thus far, they’ve eliminated Ms. Sundby’s Cadillac plan. Then again, they were essentially eliminated by the Affordable Care Act. Hopefully, this negative publicity will force Covered California to rethink its offerings. If they don’t rethink things, things could get rather dire for Ms. Sundby:

For a cancer patient, medical coverage is a matter of life and death. Take away people’s ability to control their medical-coverage choices and they may die. I guess that’s a highly effective way to control medical costs. Perhaps that’s the point.

Last week, Rep. Frank Pallone, (D-NJ), told Megyn Kelly that insurance companies were cancelling substandard policies because they’d never be able to sell the policies now that the newer, better policies are offered. It’s infuriating to hear a congresscritter that’s either too stupid to know he’s been duped or too dishonest to tell the American people the truth.

People’s health is what’s important. The Affordable Care Act is hurting people’s wallets and endangering their lives. It isn’t a matter of whether the ACA will be fixed. It’s a matter of when it’ll get a major overhaul. The longer Democrats pretend like it’s a great plan, the more lives that will get lost.

That’s an unacceptable price to pay for the Democrats’ intransigence and bitter partisanship.

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One Response to “A matter of life and death”

  • walter hanson says:

    Gary:

    One of the of the big arguments for the bill by Democrats was that preexisting conditions won’t be accounted for you anymore. Unfortunately you can say Obama has turned every current individual policy like the one that poor person has into a preexisting condition that must be killed off.

    And by the way by making you chance instead of getting better and cheaper coverage as promised she is getting less coverage and more expensive coverage.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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