Helene isn’t having the best week.
The Texas blogger was visiting Las Vegas for a bachelorette party this past weekend, and woke up on Saturday to find that she’d become the latest anti-Obamacare posterchild.
The thing is, Helene never signed up for the job.
In fact, she told me yesterday that she’s quite happy with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and with the “affordable” health care it helped her find.
“Not only do I not agree with what the image is portraying,” Helene wrote me, “I actually have Affordable Healthcare!”
So, if anything, Helene is an Obamacare success story.
But that didn’t stop over 17,000 people on Facebook from sharing an image of her face, posted just days ago, with a caption complaining about Obamacare. To add insult to injury, the people who stole her image couldn’t even spell “conspiracy” right.
When in doubt, lie
Regular followers of the health care reform saga will find this story all too familiar.
The Republicans have attempted to repeal the ACA some 50 times since it was first passed. They also challenged the law all the way to the Supreme Court, where they lost. And they made the presidential election of 2012 about repealing “Obamacare” – and they lost that too.
But far from being daunted, Republicans are only more emboldened by their certainty that President Obama has circumvented democracy by passing legislation with a majority in Congress, then getting it declared constitutional by the Supreme Court, and finally reaffirming the mandate with the popular vote.
But, when the truth fails them, Republicans fall back on their trusted steed, the lie. And boy have they been lying a lot lately about Obamacare. You see, the Republicans keep trotting out Obamacare “horror stories” that just aren’t panning out. Probably the most famous GOP example of the ACA’s failings was the story they told the night of this year’s State of the Union:
When U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers gave the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, she cited “Bette in Spokane,” a woman whose insurance premiums were going up $700 per month. Rather than just believe Rodgers like they should have, reporters tracked down Bette Grenier and learned that Washington’s health care exchange could provide her with cheaper coverage than what she was claiming, and it would be far better than her previous catastrophic insurance plan.
Why hadn’t she opted for the better plan? “I wouldn’t go on that Obama website at all,” Grenier told the Spokane Spokesman-Review.
Of course she wouldn’t.
Bette’s story is hardly an aberration. For example, there was the time that Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner claimed that Obamacare wouldn’t even cover’s Cornelius Kelly’s child. It was a lie. Kelly, somehow, wrote down the wrong number of children on his application (who gets their number of children wrong?) and needed to get the clerical error fixed before the insurance company would cover “4” instead of “3” children.
Then there’s Julie Boonstra, who was so distraught over how much the Affordable Care Act was hurting her, she agreed to do a TV ad about it. Boonstra complained that her new Obamacare plan was simply “unaffordable.” So the Detroit News did a little digging and found out that Boonstra’s new plan will actually save her $1,200 a year.
Then there were the three distraught families who appeared on Sean Hannity’s show to cry about how Obamacare had destroyed their lives. Except their stories weren’t entirely accurate either.
Back to Helene’s Obamacare “nightmare”
Helene says that, rather than posting a photo of her umbrage over being charged (less) for health care under Obamacare, the Tea Partyers had stolen a photo of her distress over a bad dye-job all the way back in 2012.
When she complained about it, on one of the conservative Facebook threads, she got this:
As for the details of Helene’s ACA health care plan, she’s has a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas Blue Advantage Silver HMO 004. It costs her $224 a month. Her current employer doesn’t offer health coverage, and it would cost her even more to get covered under her husband’s plan, so she opted for HealthCare.gov.
“My current plan covers just about everything, including a $3,000 maximum out-of-pocket and low-cost general visits to the doctor,” Helene told me.
Last year, Helene fell 20 feet at an indoor rock-climbing gym and shattered her ankle and broke her leg. Even though she’s in her 20s, she learned the hard way that accidents happen, and even young healthy people need good insurance.
“The low maximum out-of-pocket was important to me,” Helene said. “I would rather pay a little bit more each month in case of a bad accident like the one from last year.”
So there you have it. Another Obamacare horror story bites the dust.