In an Op-Ed yesterday, the Wall Street Journal posted Edy Sudby's version of her Obamacare "horror story". She is a gallbladder cancer patient and has been counting on her doctors and hospitals to keep her alive with cancer therapy, going on 7 years now.
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.
McJoan did a diary on it yesterday and it turns out that the scummy insurance company is pulling out of the California market because they can't make enough money staying in.
Translation: people like Sudby are way too expensive, so we're backing out of the market while people like her sign up with other insurers, and then maybe we'll come back in after all the sick people have signed up and see if we can scoop up the healthy people. There's nothing in the law that prevents companies like UnitedHealth take decisions like this, so in that sense Obamacare is perhaps to blame. But that's a stretch, and since the company had so few customers in the individual market in California, chances are pretty damned good that these policies were going to be cancelled sooner or later anyway. But Obamacare makes a much better excuse for them than lack of profits.And CartoonMan discovered that they had actually cancelled her insurance in January of this year, before Obamacare became law.
And the White House even pushed back on it:
Which of course got conservatives' panties in a bunch because that constitutes an attack on a cancer patient.
Which should be enough to show that the WSJ isn't exactly up front about the whole thing, right? (It's not as if they have a readership struggling to pay their insurance bils are they?) No! There's more! It turns out there's a bit of Ms Sudby's background they chose not to reveal:
The AARP story tells us that Edie Sundby first experienced symptoms when "she'd just returned to Southern California from Chennai, India, where she and one of her identical-twin daughters, Stefanie, then 18, had spent five weeks volunteering at an elementary school." (Stefanie, by the way, was "wrapping up a neuroscience degree at Stanford" -- not an inexpensive school -- at the time the story was published.)At the same time her husband walked away from a big financial services software develpment project so he could spend time with Edy helping her recuperation.
Whenever Edie suffered a setback, she took what she calls "a spirit quest" into the wilderness. Weary from chemo in the summer of 2009, she and Dale traveled by camper van through national parks in the West. "The wilderness helps me forget everything," Edie explains. "I don't think about cancer; I feel healthy there." Twice more they headed out on camping trips, the last time in 2011 when the cancer returned.
In this country, it's rare that a husband and wife can just choose to clear time from work while one of them battles cancer. It's not always possible even for the patient to stop working. Edie, however, just rejuvenates her spirit by traveling as far afield as Alaska and Fiji, as she explains in this post at the "Well" blog of The New York Times.If she really is having such trouble paying for the increase in her insurance premium, since she doesn't want to lose her doctors who would become out of network, maybe she could just take one less trip to Fiji? Oh the humanity.
Guess what. Obamacare is working exactly as intended. Just like Cadillac plan Ted Cruz who gets a $8,500 deduction on his taxes (more than the total yearly average outlay for a Medicaid patient), the people who can afford better insurance will now have to pay for it.