Supporters of the president’s signature health care program are fond of anecdotal evidence. Although Obamacare deprives many individuals of autonomy over their healthcare choices, it does so to help the less fortunate, including people who “blew it” when it came to taking care of themselves. If some bitter clingers of “Cadillac” plans don’t get to keep their insurance and doctors, it’s a price the president and his party are willing to pay.
During his press conference last week, the president offered this anecdote, taking credit for curing a man’s cancer:
I met a young man today on a bill signing I was doing with the student loan bill who came up to me and said thank you — he couldn’t have been more than 25, 26 years old — thank you; I have cancer, thanks to the Affordable Care Act working with the California program, I was able to get health care and I’m now in remission. And so right now people are already benefiting.
So as long as we’re offering anecdotes, here’s one:
About a year and a half ago I suffered two stokes simultaneously, one of them massive. I was unconscious for weeks and spent three months in the hospital – a good deal of that was on life support. Luckily, I sustained no cognitive deficits, aside from some temporary short term memory loss (which was frankly for the best). The strokes were incredibly rare and inexplicable. I’ve had some of the best neurologists in the world working on my case and they’re all pretty much baffled that the stokes happened in the first place, much less that I’m not a vegetable. They weren’t related to stress, diet, or Michelle Obama’s hobbyhorse, salt. It’s even more baffling because I’m in my 30s.
Obamacare comes into the picture on multiple levels. First, when the law began to be implemented last year everybody’s insurance changed. My insurance has been incredible. It literally saved my life, has spent well into the six figures on my care, and actually fought hospitals (and Medicare CMS guidelines) to spend more on me. Even though it’s in the universe of “Cadillac” healthcare plans it’s just a normal PPO. There’s nothing particularly special about it. When Obamacare came into force my rates went up immediately….
The patient goes on to explain how his plan changed (if you like your plan, you will not be able to keep it, apparently). Had he lost his doctors, too – by sheer luck, he didn’t – it would have been disastrous. “And don’t think of your doctor in terms of who you go see when you have a cough. Think in terms of who visits your bedside when you’re paralyzed and on a ventilator, and who saved your life in the ER. It matters a lot.”
The patient also explains how Obamacare is rolling out caps on the rehabilitation services he depends on. After more than 200 visits, the patient has been able to start his own business again. Obamacare would limit those visits to just ten.
Read the whole thing. As the wheels begin to come off Obamacare, it’s time to revisit the human costs of this deeply flawed program.
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