GOPocrisy, Obamacare — February 22, 2014 at 11:04 am

The Koch Brothers present another Obamacare success story


If Republican Terri Lynn Land wants to repeal coverage for more than half a million Michiganders, she better start giving some answers

Terri Lynn Land addresses Republican Michigan ConventionThe Koch brothers’ most visible political operation Americans for Prosperity has already sunk millions into Michigan’s U.S. Senate race to prop up Republican Terri Lynn Land, an intentionally vague candidate whose tenure as Secretary of State was marked by a voter purge that broke federal law.

The organization’s latest ad had grabbed national headlines for the way it presented Dexter-resident Julie Boonstra’s experience with Obamacare.

The Washington Post‘s Glenn Kessler pointed out that the ad depicting the cancer patient’s experience with the law “doesn’t add up.” The Huffington Post‘s Ashley Wood’s notes that Boonstra’s costs are any higher because of the law, the difference would be at most $2 for the whole year. Yes, $2. Salon‘s Brian Beutler notes “there’s almost no denying that she’s more protected now than she was before, and probably better off financially as well.”

AFP says any attempt to debunk Boonstra’s story is “telling her to quit complaining about her terminal illness.”

However, I would like to encourage Ms. Boonstra to continue “complaining” because instead of pointing out the problems with the law, she’s demonstrating its necessity.

There’s no doubt being forced to transition to a new insurance policy as you’re undergoing cancer treatment can be upsetting, especially as wasn’t operating correctly. But now our fellow Michigander has coverage that has already saved her money this year. Her premiums were cut in half. She will never pay more than $6,500 out of pocket — even if she has a bone marrow replacement surgery — and her lifetime coverage cannot be capped, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Boonstra — who was brought to the State of the Union by Rep. Tim Wahlberg (R-MI) and embraced by the Republican party — says that she still feels uncertain and can’t know for sure how much she’ll pay every month, even though she may end up paying less.

“I truly would love to show the public my numbers, but like I said I just don’t have that because I haven’t had those visits,” Boonstra told The Dexter Leader. “People don’t have that certainty — they don’t have the stability of knowing every month what they’re going to be paying now and it’s the ability to actually have that sum of money to pay.”

But instead of assuring her that at most she will have to pay less than a cent a day on average, Republicans are hyping her insecurity. Meanwhile the Koch Brothers, the Republican Party and Terri Lynn Land are promising to spread massive uncertainty to the 13 million people the CBO expects to gain coverage through Obamacare this year by pushing repeal.

Approximately 1.8 million Americans with cancer make up the 10.3 million people in this country with pre-existing conditions who were uninsured before the ACA went into effect.

What is Terri Lynn Land’s plan for them?

Land says she’s for “repeal and replace.” So what’s her replacement?

What happens to the 112,000 Michiganders who picked a plan through the health exchange? How about the More than 2,000,000 Michiganders living with cancer who could see caps on their coverage return? How about the 300,000 – 500,000 who will be eligible for Medicaid expansion through Health Michigan beginning on April 1? And what actually is her plan to replace Medicare since she seems to feel the existing program that millions of Michiganders rely on needs to be changed?

Republicans have a remarkable ability to summon compassion for one person who helps them attack Obamacare. But they’re right that health care is a serious business and Terri Lynn Land needs to come out with some real answers.

[Image via Bill Rice | Flickr]