Politics

A story of lost insurance that hits close to home

A story of lost insurance that hits close to home

My friend Jim Hoft, who I met when he was writing for HUMAN EVENTS, just lost his insurance coverage.  And he really, really needs it.  I hope he won’t mind if I quote his story from Gateway Pundit in full:

In August 2013 I became very sick with what I thought was a cold. After a few days I lost vision in my left eye and I checked into the hospital. I soon found out that what I thought was a summer cold was actually Strep bacteria poisoning my blood stream. The bacteria blinded my left eye, ate a hole through my heart, caused five strokes on both sides of my brain and forced the removal of my prosthetic left knee.

Dr. Lee was the surgeon assigned to perform open heart surgery. What was originally scheduled to last four hours ended up lasting twelve. My heart was severely damaged. Dr. Lee later told me the surgery was one of the most difficult of his career. He also said I only had a few days to live without the surgery.

Thanks to the excellent insurance I carried I was able to receive life-saving medical treatment at St. Louis University.

This week I found out I am going to lose my insurance. The company that carried me is leaving the Missouri market. I will have to find something else.

I am one of the millions who will be looking for new insurance. God willing, I will be able to keep my doctors at St. Louis University. I trust them.  They saved my life.  Please pray for me and the millions of working Americans who are going through this same ordeal.

Why is our government doing this to us?

That’s the question on the lips of all the people callously dismissed as “anecdotes” and “red herrings” by ObamaCare dead-enders, isn’t it?  None of these five-million-plus people committed a crime.  They were lied to by the President of the United States, which made them miss their last chance to avoid this disaster by voting him out of office, and now they’re being told they don’t count, don’t matter.  They don’t get invited to Rose Garden ceremonies to talk about what ObamaCare means to them.

I hope Jim gets to keep his marvelous doctors, but he must know the odds are good that he won’t.  Restricting access to doctors is a major cost-saving move by post-ObamaCare insurance providers.  Conversely, some doctors don’t want to deal with the complications and poor compensation promised by ObamaCare plans.  “Sticker shock” is the big ObamaCare story, now that more people are able to access the system and find out just how much the “Affordable” Care Act is going to cost them.  “Doctor shock” is one of the next big shoes that will drop.

Last week, the Financial Times had a story about how top hospitals, including prominent cancer centers, would become unavailable to ObamaCare patients:

Amid a drive by insurers to limit costs, the majority of insurance plans being sold on the new healthcare exchanges in New York, Texas, and California, for example, will not offer patients’ access to Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan or MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, two top cancer centres, or Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, one of the top research and teaching hospitals in the country.

Experts say the move by insurers to limit consumers’ choices and steer them away from hospitals that are considered too expensive, or even “inefficient”, reflects the new competitive landscape in the insurance industry since the passage of theAffordable Care Act, Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare law.

It could become another source of political controversy for the Obama administration next year, when the plans take effect. Frustrated consumers could then begin to realise what is not always evident when buying a product as complicated as healthcare insurance: that their new plans do not cover many facilities or doctors “in network”. In other words, the facilities and doctors are not among the list of approved providers in a certain plan.

Which is all very troubling for the people who run these top-flight medical centers:

“We’re very concerned. [Insurers] know patients that are sick come to places like ours. What this is trying to do is redirect those patients elsewhere, but there is a reason why they come here. These patients need what it is that we are capable of providing,” says Thomas Priselac, president and chief executive officer of Cedars-Sinai Health System in California.

[...] While the Mayo Clinic will now be available on seven different plans offered by two different insurance carriers in Rochester, [government relations director Kathleen] Harrington says the long-term concern for the hospital is that intense focus on bringing down costs will hurt “centers of excellence” like Mayo that attract the most complicated medical cases in the country.

“I don’t think there is any doubt that a significant portion of the Mayo base are very sick patients. You don’t come here for primary care. We do treat the sickest of the sick. We do experimental treatment. This is where you come for innovative treatments for life threatening illnesses,” she says.

“If healthcare, the full spectrum from primary to top specialty care, becomes commoditised, it becomes a concern for the American healthcare system,” she adds.

Don’t bother asking anyone from the Administration about this, because they’ll look you straight in the eye and tell you it’s not happening.

It’s obscene for anyone associated with ObamaCare to boast about how many “enrollments” they have secured, even before noticing that their “achievements” are still less than a third of what they anticipated.  The big goal of 7 million enrollments by April was set in tandem with promises that no one would lose their insurance, so right now ObamaCare is over five million in the hole.  They would need to enroll 12 million people between now and April to meet their goal.  Anyone who relates one of their little pronouncements without accurately noting that the score is currently Minus Five Million is a propagandist, not a reporter or analyst.

Every prayer in my inventory is on its way to you, Jim, along with every prayer I can borrow.

 

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