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 Healthcare.gov 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]

  • Kathi Geukes

    She never will because she knows that everything she has said so far is a lie….she’s so deep in the weeds that she can’t even answer simple questions anymore…she needs to drop out NOW!!!!

  • bozolives

    She is evil incarnate.

  • jennie

    Can you clarify the numbers here? I’m confused: “More than 2,000,000 Michiganders live with cancer and 1.8 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.” How can Michaganders with cancer make up 1/5 of all Americans with pre-existing conditions?

    • Churchlady320

      I should let them answer, but I read it as “and the 1.8 percent of Americans with cancer…” and “make up a good part of the 10.3 million…” As one who writes fast, cuts and pastes a lot, I wind up with confusion way too often not to be sympathetic to the writer, but I am ALSO sympathetic to you as the reader!

  • Churchlady320

    Whatever is Boonstra saying about ‘she doesn’t know month to month what she will pay’? That’s true no matter what policy you have. If you have copays, and you go once per month it’s whatever that copay is. If you go 12 times a month, it’s 12 times that. There’s no logic here (sorry I’m sucker enough to look for it.) But the article is correct in stating she has total certainty of being covered, of a regular monthly premium she can now afford, of a MAXIMUM deductible, and of not being cut off in the middle of her treatments with a cap, annual or lifetime.
    Where, please, is the uncertainty in this????

  • judyms9

    The MI GOP wants to make the Senate race an “anybody but Gary Peters” so the smears will continue and intensify. Land is trying to win by having a pulse and not being Gary Peters.
    I’m hoping the health care hysteria will fizzle out by November because the nation’s other problems need solutions not sloganeering.

  • gregsullmich

    The name “Boonstra” sounded familiar, so I did a quick White Pages search. Her Dexter address matches that of Mark Boonstra. I’m guessing they are husband and wife. Mark Boonstra is a long-time Republican activist and County Party Chair who was recently appointed to the Court of Appeals by the Governor. I remember him because we both worked as interns in the office of then-State Senator Anthony Derezinski (D-Muskegon) in the late 70’s.

    So, this is no “Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington” spontaneous constituent grievance story. Instead, it sounds more like an episode of political contrivance.

    So, the Repugs set up their own story, and yet this is the best they can come up with?

    • Progressive Republican

      Good to know. That’s great information.

    • gregsullmich

      My guess was incorrect. Mark Boonstra is married to Martha R. Boonstra. Julie Boonstra is a relative and neighbor.

      • Nancy Wickman

        I looked her up too. She does live in a $390,000 house. How financially insecure can she be?

        • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

          Be careful with assumptions like that. It’s entirely possible that she lost a job and is living with relatives or something. Both her name and Mark’s are on the title of the house so it may well be something they inherited together or something like that.

          That said, this is someone who is clearly tightly connected to a well-known GOP operative. He used to be the chair of the Washtenaw County Republican Party, in fact.

  • Michiganmitch

    According to the AFP spokesperson Russell, he claims the uncertainty of having to come up with an out of pocket expense of $6,350 the first month could be devastating and put real pressure on family finances making Obamacare totally unaffordable. To demonstrate how silly this claim is, I had surgery in January was presented with a bill from Beaumont Hospital for roughly $1,000. At the bottom of the bill I was told that if I could not remit the entire amount to contact the billing office to set up a payment plan. Wow, that is devastating!!!! I think I’ll declare bankruptcy in light of all of this.

  • Michiganmitch

    Why has no one ever managed to get out of Boonstra what the deductible and co-pays were on her beloved pre-Obamacare policy. This is sloughed as if it is inconsequential but should be added to her admitted $1,100 monthly premium to accurately assess her total cost. Again I have some damn good group insurance likewise written by BC/BS and my prescriptions are handled entirely by a company other than my HC insurance provider and costs are billed separately. Did Boonstra pay an added amount monthly for her drugs? She freely admits that her current policy was purchased from her old BC/BS agent. Were added savings possible had she returned to the exchange when it was working better? Cathy McMorris Rogers fraudulent example of a dissatisfied O-care person mentoined in her SOTU rebuttal was found to have forfeited $100/month when she refused to go on the exchange because Obama.

  • Doug Scott

    This is a very impressive piece pulling together those who have actually sought out and dug up the facts about Land’s fabrication. So what does the Peters’ campaign need to do? Frame this issue as Land not caring at all about this woman; not caring about women with cancer; and as master ‘distorter’ of the truth.

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