Monday, February 3, 2014

Ann Coulter's Story of Woman Dying Because of Obamacare Raises Many Questions

On a weekend episode of Fox and Friends, Ann Coulter shared a tragic tale that was supposedly the result of Obamacare. 
 On Fox & Friends weekend edition, conservative pundit Ann Coulter told cohost Tucker Carlson that her friend’s sister had passed away over the weekend after putting off medical attention because she had lost her insurance coverage under Obamacare.

“This does have real world consequences: I got up the other morning and got an email from a friend saying, ‘My sister almost died because of Obamacare,’” Coulter said.

Coulter said the friend’s sister was kicked off her insurance when Blue Shield pulled out of California, put off going to emergency room despite having a fever because she didn’t have insurance, until she went into septic shock on Thursday. Over the weekend, the friend passed away.
That is indeed a tragedy, and something that no one should have to go through. But I would like to ask a few questions.

First off, I don't know what Ann's talking about with her comment about Blue Shield pulling out of California. I live in California, and one of my co-workers told me recently he had insurance through Blue Shield. Their website still seems to be up, and they also happen to be among the insurers who appear on the California exchanges:

I'll give Ann the benefit of the doubt and offer up the possibility that she meant some other insurance company.

Second, I would like to know what the sister's financial situation was. I would be surprised if she wasn't eligible for cheaper insurance through the exchange. I also wouldn't be surprised if she decided to forgo the exchange because people like Ann told her to do so.

Third, Ann implied she had sepsis, so if her insurance was good enough to cover treatment, which could get pretty pricey for something like sepsis, I would be shocked that it would get cancelled due to the ACA for being a junk plan. I'm not saying there might not have been other reasons that it got cancelled, only that it would be surprising if that was the case. But even if it was cancelled, you would think she would still get insurance considering her condition.

Finally, perhaps the most important point that Ann unintentionally made. The victim in question reached the point she did because her only option left was to go to the emergency room. But wasn't the ER the conservative alternative to universal health care for the past twenty years? George W. Bush supported it, as did the last Republican presidential nominee.  It should be clear to anyone by now that the ER cannot be a replacement for proper health care.

To be fair to Ann, it seems she's not a fan of the ER either, though her reasons are a tad different compared to the left.

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