Another Koch brothers’ Obamcare ‘victim,’ another fact check

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2014-05-2008

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Yep. The Koch brothers’ American for Prosperity, again, with another anti-Obamacare ad. This one has actually been around for a few weeks. It features Tennessee resident Emilie Lamb, who has lupus and says “I voted for Barack Obama for president. I thought that Obamacare was going to be a good thing. Instead of helping me, Obamacare has made my life almost impossible.” She’s one of the many who had to change insurance plans. This ad didn’t get as much attention as some of the others. Until now. This isn’t one of the out-and-out lies that AFP has been pushing in its ads, but one that is still deceptive. It finds a one-in-a-million case to try to demonstrate how bad the law is for chronically ill people. So, crank up the fact-checking machine at the Washington Post.

Lamb might just be the only person with a complex, chronic illness like lupus who has her disease well under control. She says her out of pocket expenses—doctor visits and drug costs—were just $1,000 a year. She was covered by a public-private option called CoverTN, one of those state high-risk pools that offered cheap coverage for low-income workers. The plan didn’t meet the new standards mandated by the law, and didn’t receive a waiver from the Obama administration to continue operating this year. But it was a good deal for Lamb. For example, when she had an accident in 2007 that required several surgeries, she ended up with huge bills. One surgery alone cost $125,000. But CoverTN was able to negotiate that down to below $25,000, with the hospital eating more $100,000 in costs (and passing those costs along to all the rest of their patients). After that experience, Lamb figured she would never have to worry about “something catastrophic” bankrupting her. So Lamb was in a phenomenally fortunate situation, with a potentially devastating chronic illness that is being kept at bay, and an extremely generous hospital saving her. She’s one in a million, really, a point the Post’s Glenn Kessler makes.

One Lupus sufferer, Erin Kotecki Vest, blogged that she was amazed at Lamb’s tale of woe after she researched the coverage provided by CoverTN. “Just ONE of my treatments ALONE wipes out everything CoverTN had to offer me,” she wrote. “I would hit CoverTN’s $25,000 annual limit the first week of January.”

In contrast to Lamb, this Lupus sufferer is thrilled to be on Obamacare. Kotecki Vest gleefully wrote in November that her family ditched her husband’s employer-provided plan after they discovered they would save nearly $19,000 a year by switching to a plan offered on healthcare.gov.

For some reason, Kotecki Vest was not asked to appear in an AFP ad. AFP did not respond to a request for comment.

Lamb is paying a lot more: she chose a platinum plan that would keep her out of pocket costs low. So she’s paying a lot more, from $52 a month to $373 a month. That makes her one of Obamacare’s “losers.” But she’ll never have to worry again about whether she’ll lose that insurance because of her lupus. Unless the AFP has its way.

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