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article imageOp-Ed: Obamacare and shovel-ready jobs

By W. Mark Dendy     Nov 4, 2013 in Politics
Washington - Last night, I had dreams of the Affordable Care Act, followed by a period of insomnia – the insomnia is one of the manifestations I regularly deal with due to a rare genetic disorder, Wilson's disease.
I looked at the clock; it was 4:28 am. Having no desire to get out of bed, I began thinking about the many promises that President Obama has made. And then I had an epiphany. Maybe Obama was trying to kill two birds with one stone. Remember the many “shovel-ready” jobs he promised; a promise that has yet come to full fruition.
You probably know where this is going, but please, hear me out. Because I am not the only one who has thought of this.
One failure of the White House Administration is discounting those that are so wrongly affected by Obama's signature healthcare legislation. No, I am not talking about me and my situation or the many whose plans are being canceled. And I am certainly not going to talk about the millions that have unsuccessfully tried to enroll in the dysfunctional website, healthcare.gov. I am going to talk about one real person - with a name and a face and a story that is far from any dream; her true tale is a living nightmare.
Let me introduce Edie Littlefield Sunby, a self-proclaimed “determined fighter” who also deems herself “extremely lucky.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sunby, for almost seven years, has “fought stage-4 gall bladder cancer” only to find out now that her “affordable, lifesaving medical insurance policy has been canceled effective Dec. 31.”
If you lean to the right, you are probably thinking – that is a horrible ramification of Obamacare! If you are left-leaning – most likely, you are saying – no worries; once everything is ironed out, she can shop around and will have a better plan at a cheaper rate under the Affordable Care Act.
Now for the rest of the story, abbreviated however.
Sunby's United Healthcare PPO has paid $1.2 million to keep her alive as healthy as possible, never questioning any procedure or treatment recommendations provided by her team of doctors. That plan is no longer available to her through the California state exchange; quotes outside the exchange are 40 to 50% more expensive and paired down.
Additionally, the exchange would force Sunby to give up her world-class oncologist.
Is there a tear in your eye yet? Well imagine if she were your mother, sister, daughter, or maybe an aunt that whose “energies are directed at living life and staying alive.” But now that her insurance is canceled, has to worry how long she will have left to live.
As the WSJ reports Sunby's very own words “Take away people's ability to control their medical-coverage choices and they may die. I guess that's a highly effective way to control medical costs.”
And I will facetiously add, a way to literally provide “shovel-ready” jobs.
But I'm not laughing; I am filled with sorrow for the tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands facing Sunby's reality!
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This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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