Author/commentator Ann Coulter claims that the Obamacare insurance cancellation led to the death of her friend’s sister.
The conservative pundit was on Fox News primarily to discuss House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s interview with Jon Stewart in which the lawmaker admitted to The Daily Show host that she didn’t know why the Obamacare rollout failed and that it wasn’t her job to know. Obamacare passed Congress on a straight party-line vote when Pelosi and her fellow Democrats controlled both chambers. No Republican voted for Obamacare, a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act.
Said Coulter about the what she called the shocking real-world consequences of Obamacare: “… I got up in the morning and got an email from a friend saying ‘my sister almost died because of Obamacare.’ She had been thrown off her insurance plan, you know Blue Shield just completely pulled out of California. A lot of insurance companies have just had to pull out. And there is no competition, I mean, there is fake competition. There are a million insurance companies but they all have to provide under federal law the exact same product. So, have it, go and compete. So, anyway she was thrown off her insurance, she was trying to get insurance some other way, get on Obamacare, she couldn’t get through the website. And she started to get a fever but she didn’t want to go to the emergency room. She didn’t know what it was until she got her insurance. So she put it off, she put it off. On Thursday, she went into septic shock…. ”
Coulter added that she later received an email from the friend who said “my sister died from Obamacare.”
According to the left-leaning Politifact, this story doesn’t hold up and is grossly misleading in part because Blue Shield did not pull out of California, although other firms did, and that the California online exchange was more functional than the federal equivalent.
Setting aside the validity or not of this particular story, it’s been widely reported that many consumers have encountered issues even after they thought they successfully signed up for coverage through HealthCare.gov or a state exchange. Because of back-end software glitches, some consumers with Obamacare insurance who have gone to their healthcare providers for treatment have found that their coverage was not yet activated or the insurer had no record of their enrollment. This is in addition to skyrocketing premiums (for those ineligible for taxpayer-funded subsides), significantly higher deductibles, and being locked out of existing provider networks.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Obamacare-related coverage issues in California: “Aliso Viejo resident Danielle Nelson said Anthem Blue Cross promised half a dozen times that her oncologists would be covered under her new policy. She was diagnosed last year with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and discovered a suspicious lump near her jaw in early January. But when she went to her oncologist’s office, she promptly encountered a bright orange sign saying that Covered California plans are not accepted. ‘I’m a complete fan of the Affordable Care Act, but now I can’t sleep at night,’ Nelson said. ‘I can’t imagine this is how President Obama wanted it to happen.'”
According to CNN, “Many folks who signed up for coverage through the state and federal exchanges are running into roadblocks now that they are trying to use their new benefits. And though exchange officials and insurers have urged consumers to call their insurers if they encounter problems, many say they either wait endlessly on hold or get the runaround. Coverage for the first wave of Obamacare applicants took effect Jan. 1.”
Do you think Ann Coulter is exaggerating by claiming that her friend’s sister died from Obamacare?
[image credit: David Shankbone]