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Like Others, Latest Obamacare “Horror Story” Is Debunked

Submitted by on February 21, 2014 – 9:50 amNo Comment

Julia Boonstra is a Michigan resident fighting leukemia. Her heartbreaking story has been told at numerous Republican events, and she was even invited to the State of the Union by a Republican politician. But Boonstra’s claim that Obamacare has made her out-of-pocket healthcare costs “unaffordable” are not adding up. The debunked claim joins a long list of supposed Obamacare “horror stories” that don’t hold up to modest investigation.

As Boonstra has stated in campaign ads and public appearances, her healthcare plan was canceled due to the Affordable Care Act. This much is probably true; due to reforms, some plans that did not provide comprehensive coverage were eliminated, while others were eliminated in name alone and replaced with very similar plans.

As DrJays has reported before, Obamacare “losers” likely compromise a very small percentage of the population who will have to pay much more for insurance, but will also receive superior coverage. Earlier “catastrophic” plans with low or no out-of-pocket spending caps were likely to leave the insured liable for huge sums.

The Detroit News reported that Boonstra got a new plan through Blue Cross Blue Shield, where her monthly premiums actually dropped by almost half, from $1,100 to $571; she continued seeing her same doctors as well. That new plan seems to cover less on a monthly basis, but as Glenn Kessler at The Washington Post showed, any change would be almost irrelevant due to Boonstra’s savings from her monthly premium, combined with the $6,400 cap on yearly out-of-pocket spending imposed by Obamacare (all expenses over that limit must be covered by the insurer). Boonstra’s annual savings would be “$6,348—just two dollars shy of the out-of-pocket maximum.”

In other words, Boonstra’s savings from her new plan will cover her out of pocket expenses- and anything more than that must by law be covered by her plan.

Boonstra joins the ranks of several supposed high-profile Obamacare horror stories. “Bette in Spokane”- Bette Grenier- was invoked by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA) during McMorris’ official response to the State of the Union. Grenier claimed that her premiums had gone up $700 a month, but investigations found that figure wasn’t accurate, and that Grenier hadn’t even checked the online healthcare exchanges for more affordable plans.

And 26-year-old Ashley Dionne rocketed to stardom in conservative media for penning a horror story that claimed “Obamacare raped [her] future.” Dionne claimed to make $8 an hour working 32 hours a week, and that Obamacare had sent her premiums from $75 to over $300. But commenters quickly pointed out that Dionne was likely eligible for subsidies and Medicaid (the latter thanks to expansions).


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