Sunday, October 04, 2009

# Posted 1:51 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

OBAMA'S MISLEADING SCARE TACTICS: Last month, I gave the President a hard time for denouncing GOP scare tactics, while relying on his scary stories to build support for his healthcare plan. On Monday, ABC's Jake Tapper pointed out that the President's scary stories were "not quite accurate" or, in plain English, completely misleading.

First up, there's the man who died when his insurance company cut off his chemotherapy because he allegedly failed to report he once had gallstones. Actually, the man got his coverage back, got his chemotherapy, and lived for three and a half more years.

Next up, there's the woman with cancer whose coverage was cancelled because she forgot to report a case of acne. Turns our the acne had nothing do with her cancellation (although to Obama's credit, it does seem the woman actually had some pimples.)

As Tapper notes, the whole truth still makes the insurance companies look pretty heartless. But if the President wants to denounce the liars and cynics who oppose his plan, he should work a little harder to be part of the reality-based community.

Incidentally, this was how I closed out my original post about Obama's scary stories:
So I guess if I provide a few examples of terrible things that happen in Canada, I would’ve responsibly documented the perils of government-run healthcare?
Per the Wall Street Journal:
When the pain in Christina Woodkey's legs became so severe that she could no longer hike or cross-country ski, she went to her local health clinic. The Calgary, Canada, resident was told she'd need to see a hip specialist. Because the problem was not life-threatening, however, she'd have to wait about a year.

So wait she did.

In January, the hip doctor told her that a narrowing of the spine was compressing her nerves and causing the pain. She needed a back specialist. The appointment was set for Sept. 30. 'When I was given that date, I asked when could I expect to have surgery,' said Woodkey, 72. 'They said it would be a year and a half after I had seen this doctor.'

So this month, she drove across the border into Montana and got the $50,000 surgery done in two days. 'I don't have insurance. We're not allowed to have private health insurance in Canada,' Woodkey said. 'It's not going to be easy to come up with the money. But I'm happy to say the pain is almost all gone.'
As I said before, anecdotes can't prove a broader point. But they should at least be true.

Cross-posted at Conventional Folly
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