Saturday, March 29, 2014

Horror Stories of ObamaCare: Larry Basich

In spite of his best efforts, following all the rules and applying all necessary procedures, Nevada residents Larry Basich basically did not have a good experience with Obamacare, which cost him more than he expected.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal depicted in detail this man's ordeal purchasing insurance, and still for a very stressful period of time, he had no idea whether his medical expenses will be covered:

Thing is, he should be covered. Basich, 62, bought a plan through the state’s Nevada Health Link insurance exchange in the fall. He’s been paying monthly premiums since November.

Yet the Las Vegan is stranded in a no-man’s-land where no carrier claims him, and his tab is mounting: Basich owes $407,000 for care received in January and February, when his policy was supposed to be in effect. Instead, he’s covered only for March and beyond.

This scenario has repeated itself all too often with these state health insurance exchanges. Americans followed the advise (or rather, force) from the White House to seek out insurance.

Millions of people actually had no choice, since the Obamacare rollout pushed out many people's current insurance plans, the ones which President Obama promised that they could keep.

Basich struggled to enroll on line, and after more than a month, he found a plan and purchased it.

Then, just after the beginning of this year, the retired engineer need heart bypass surgery

By then, the insurance companies had seemingly bypassed him, as he had received no insurance card, even though money was withdrawn from his account every month to pay for his new health insurance plan.

More complications followed, as Basich's intended health insurance company initially had no record of his coverage, and then another company claimed to have him on their roster.

In this No Man's Land of "Who is covering me?" Basich was racking up medical bills, hitting over $400 thousand.

File:Brian Sandoval 2010.jpg
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval
Because of Las Vegas Review-Journal's report on Basich's controversy, the insurance company was pressured to cover all his costs retroactively. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and US Senator Harry Reid (the same Senator who called these horror stories "untrue") intervened to help the man.

Yet the stressed-out Nevada resident did not have a happy report to share about Obamacare:

“There’s been so much stress. It’s almost unbelievable that they could, through their ignorance, put me through this,” he said. “But in the end, I’ll be happy to not have to deal with this crap anymore. It will be such a great relief. It was just so much stress.”

and then

“If Xerox, if the state of Nevada, if Sandoval think this whole fight is over because they’re going to resolve my one issue, they need to rethink that, because my broker has more than 20 issues exactly like mine on her plate right now.”

Basich's outcomes were better than bad, although he termed the process of finding health insurance on line like "reaching the third level of Doom", the fact that there are at least twenty other cases similar to Basich's ordeal casts a pall rather than a light on Obamacare's legacy.

The retired engineer waited for months wondering if his health care expenses would be covered, even though he had paid the health insurance premiums for his Obamacare plan. When his circumstances grew more distressing, he had to reach out to the press, who pressured the insurance company, the Governor and Nevada, and one of Basich's US Senators to intervene. And there are least twenty other people facing similar circumstances with their health care?

That's just an estimate regarding how widespread the Obamacare heartache has hit Nevada residents, too. Would Senator Reid call them liars, too?
' I cannot imagine Nevada residents, struggling to work, raise their families, or find a job (since Nevada has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country) taking more time out of their busy lives to rile up the media to report their plight and get their government to pay attention and help them with their medical expenses.

Obamacare did not live up to the "Patient Protection" promised in its title to say the least


  1. Wonderful Obamacare Stories:

    Phil Sherburne and Leia Bell
    This Utah family will pay just $123 a month to cover their family of five, despite a shoulder issue that had left Sherburne unable to get insurance before the Affordable Care Act went into effect. According to Sherburne (who is also a small business owner), the multiple efforts it took to get onto the federal exchange website were well worth it. "It's a great deal. I'm thrilled to have coverage, period," he said to the Salt Lake Tribune. "Once I got onto the site it took about an hour, start to finish."

    Kendall Brown
    This Oklahoma City resident, who suffers from Crohn's Disease, has already benefited once from the Affordable Care Act, which allowed her to stay on her parents' health insurance through age 26. After that, she was unable to find affordable insurance – forcing her to forgo treatment because she couldn't afford the out-of-pocket expenses. She has now been able to enroll in the exchange, despite the pre-existing condition that previously caused her to be denied by every insurance company. In an open letter to Congress, Brown wrote, "[I]f you defund Obamacare, or delay it even for one year, as you are debating today, then this will be my last letter to you. I will be dead before my 27th birthday."

    Rakesh Rikhi
    For Rikhi, who owns a Bay Area auto-repair shop, the $500 a month that he is saving when it comes to covering his family through the state exchange will mean more money to invest in his small business. Even better, that investment will likely assist his employees in purchasing their own health insurance. "Now that he knows his potential saving, Rikhi says he can't wait to sign up and looks forward to feeling relief from the financial pain of skyrocketing insurance costs," reports the local NBC affiliate.

    Butch Matthews
    If Rikhi's savings sound good, then Matthews' return must be twice as impressive. The self-avowed Arkansas Republican and retiree admits he became an Obamacare convert after learning he will save $13,000 a year under a new plan that has no monthly premiums. "I would tell [people badmouthing Obamacare] to learn more about it before they start talking bad about it," he told ThinkProgress. "Be more informed, get more information, take your time and study and not just go by just what you hear on one side or the other. Actually check the facts on it."

    Andrew Stryker
    A Los Angeles freelancer who has been on COBRA health insurance so he won't have any gap in coverage, Stryker expects his monthly premiums to dip to $300 a month from the current $600. "Obviously three hours is a long time to wait, but it will save me over $6,000," he told Sarah Kliff at The Washington Post. "For that, I would have waited all day."

    Katie Klabusich
    Klabusich, a self-employed writer and activist, says she had been plagued by a chronic sinus infection that she was unable to treat due to her previous insurance plan. "There were periods in my 20's where my health insurance cost more than my rent," she wrote in a blog post, where she went on to praise her new, low monthly premium under the low-deductible health care plan she purchased on the New York state exchange, which will allow her to finally treat a myriad of medical issues she'd mostly tried to ignore. "IN TEN WEEKS . . . I get to see a doctor and start whatever course of treatment is the best option, not the one I can attempt to afford. That is my new reality. Thank you, ACA," Klabusich wrote.

  2. Dear Art,

    You are insane. Stop spamming people. Your account is hereby suspended.


  3. The Las Vegas Review-Journal has offered that Nevada should scrap their own health care exchange if the state government cannot fix it.

    Will the Silver State be joining Maryland, Oregon, and Rhode Island in scrapping their state health insurance exchange, too?

  4. Art the Fart, you are entitled to your own opinion but you aren't entitled to your own facts.
    Maryland's exchange isn't shut down:
    Oregon's exchange isn't shut down:
    Rhode Island's exchange isn't shut down:

    As to the Las Vegas Review-Journal? Who gives a shit what they say? Theirs is a conservative editorial board who endorsed Romney--he lost, remember?--in 2012 and
    McCain in 2008--who also lost and who saddled the country with the Alaskan Asshat.

    Get some goddamn facts, you drooling moron.

  5. "Horror stories"? Um, not so much...

    The Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity have invested heavily in a series of anti-healthcare attack ads in recent months, most of which feature alleged “victims” of the Affordable Care Act. As has been well documented, many of these “horror stories” turn out to be far from horrible upon closer scrutiny – AFP has practically created a full-employment program for fact-checkers.

    But even as the American mainstream seems to reject the anti-healthcare message, the far-right activist group isn’t changing strategy. When the story of one ACA “victim” gets debunked, the Koch brothers’ operation finds another. When that evidence is discredited, the group tries again. And again. And again.

    The latest spot from Americans for Prosperity, attacking Sen. Mark Pryor (D) in Arkansas, is fascinating because it seems designed to circumvent the fact-checkers by avoiding actual claims or arguments. Viewers are introduced to an Arkansas man named Jerry, who says he received a letter from his insurer saying his old policy would be cancelled.

    Except, we already know that in Arkansas, “people with non-compliant plans” can stay on them through October 2017.

    So, is Jerry still on his old plan? The ad doesn’t say. Would he save money under a new plan? The ad doesn’t say that, either. Does he even like his old plan? The ad doesn’t say that, either.

    It appears AFP wants to present Jerry as a victim because he’s not sure what’s going to happen with his coverage at some point down the road, but (a) there was a heckuva lot more uncertainty for consumers before “Obamacare” than after it; (b) Arkansas has already ensured that folks like Jerry can keep their old plan (or perhaps even check to see whether a better deal with a new plan is available).

    In other words, if this is an attempt at emotional manipulation, it’s not a very good one.

    Making matters slightly worse, AFP also has a new attack ad in Michigan, which is arguably even more dubious than the Arkansas spot.
    A new ad featuring a Grand Rapids resident complaining that her new health insurance plan is “not affordable” due to Obamacare leaves out an important fact. Shannon Wendt turned down Medicaid coverage for family, according to posts she made on her Facebook wall.

    The ad from Koch-backed “social welfare” non-profit Americans for Prosperity neglects to mention that the Wendt family could be enjoying nearly fully subsidized government insurance, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. […]

    Wendt – a Republican precinct delegate who has taken strident stands against Obamacare in the past – echoes right wing complaints about Medicaid that hint at the fallacious and malicious argument that having Medicaid is worse than having no coverage at all. has more, documenting how this family would actually benefit greatly from the Affordable Care Act.

    Remember, if “Obamacare” were really so awful, it’d be incredibly easy to find legitimate horror stories that stood up well to scrutiny. Indeed, ACA “victims” would be everywhere, eager to tell their story.

    The fact that these attack ads are so routinely – and so easily – discredited speaks volumes.

    1. Please explain why you called South Bay Jane:

      "Well SB Jane, you're one of those dense nimrods who wants to turn Hermosa Beach into a beachside oil field, so your opinion of anything is of very little value."

      What is it with this war on women from the Left?

    2. Artie Orwell. no one knows what the fuck you are rattling on about.

    3. You don’t find many Obamacare opponents admitting outright that 7.1 million and counting signups is a huge victory for reform. But their reaction to the results — It’s a fraud! They’re cooking the books! — tells the tale. Conservative thinking and Republican political strategy were based entirely on the assumption that it would always be October, that Obamacare’s rollout would be an unremitting tale of disaster. They have no idea what to do now that it’s turning into a success story

      The crucial thing to understand about the Affordable Care Act is that it’s a Rube Goldberg device, a complicated way to do something inherently simple. The biggest risk to reform has always been that the scheme would founder on its complexity. And now we know that this won’t happen.

      Remember, giving everyone health insurance doesn’t have to be hard; you can just do it with a government-run program. Not only do many other advanced countries have “single-payer,” government-provided health insurance, but we ourselves have such a program — Medicare — for older Americans. If it had been politically possible, extending Medicare to everyone would have been technically easy.

      But it wasn’t politically possible, for a couple of reasons. One was the power of the insurance industry, which couldn’t be cut out of the loop if you wanted health reform this decade. Another was the fact that the 170 million Americans receiving health insurance through employers are generally satisfied with their coverage, and any plan replacing that coverage with something new and unknown was a nonstarter.

      So health reform had to be run largely through private insurers, and be an add-on to the existing system rather than a complete replacement. And, as a result, it had to be somewhat complex.

      Now, the complexity shouldn’t be exaggerated: The basics of reform only take a few minutes to explain. And it has to be as complicated as it is. There’s a reason Republicans keep defaulting on their promise to propose an alternative to the Affordable Care Act: All the main elements of Obamacare, including the subsidies and the much-attacked individual mandate, are essential if you want to cover the uninsured.

      Nonetheless, the Obama administration created a system in which people don’t simply receive a letter from the federal government saying “Congratulations, you are now covered.” Instead, people must go online or make a phone call and choose from a number of options, in which the cost of insurance depends on a calculation that includes varying subsidies, and so on. It’s a system in which many things can go wrong; the nightmare scenario has always been that conservatives would seize on technical problems to discredit health reform as a whole. And last fall that nightmare seemed to be coming true.

      Continue reading the main story

      Brandon 6 minutes ago
      The Urban Institute released a survey this morning that there are 5.4 million newly insured individuals as a result of the ACA through March...
      Strategerist 11 minutes ago
      How can anyone say the law is successful? There have been so many delays, waivers, and exemptions that it's impossible to know the law's...
      Barbara 11 minutes ago
      The heartbreak and trauma of the un-covered in states that didn't expand Medicaid needs more examination. Those in the gap of no-coverage...
      But the nightmare is over. It has long been clear, to anyone willing to study the issue, that the overall structure of Obamacare made sense given the political constraints. Now we know that the technical details can be managed, too. This thing is going to work.

      And, yes, it’s also a big political victory for Democrats. They can point to a system that is already providing vital aid to millions of Americans, and Republicans — who were planning to run against a debacle — have nothing to offer in response. And I mean nothing. So far, not one of the supposed Obamacare horror stories featured in attack ads has stood up to scrutiny.

  6. Wow, what an amazing giveaway!! Thanks so much