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National

Woman Was Fine with Her Health Care Plan, Until Discovering it Covered Two Band-Aids and Some Gauze

Sacramento, CA – Karrie Banh, a 35-year-old small business owner, thought she had great health coverage.

“It was affordable, and I was under the impression that it covered me for the things I needed,” Karrie said. “Then I found out that wasn’t true.”

Karrie is one of the millions of Americans who make up the individual health insurance market. She was covered under Anthem Blue Cross California, but when Karrie needed to be hospitalized six months ago, after a bad car accident, she experienced a terrible surprise — she wasn’t as covered as she thought she was. In fact, she was hardly covered at all.

Karrie’s plan covered her for two Band-Aids and a modest roll of gauze padding. “The third band-Aid, and any gauze over that initial roll, I would have to pay for,” she said.

That wasn’t all she would have to pay for. Karrie required surgery to repair a broken bone in her left leg, and was in the hospital a total of five days.

“I never worried about the bills while I was in the hospital” Karrie said. “I figured, I was covered. I was much more concerned with the surgery and that it go well, without any complications.”

The surgery went fine, and Karrie has since fully recovered, though she does bear a large scar on her left calf where the incision was made.

The scar, she could handle, she says. The really painful surprise came when she discovered what her Blue Cross plan actually covered, and what it didn’t.

“I was in shock when the bills came in and I called Blue Cross, and they told me the plan covered only the two Band-Aids and the gauze,” Karrie said. “I thought the woman was kidding. I said, ‘You’re funny,’ and she said, ‘Thank you, dear, but I’m not kidding.'”

Karrie says she was assured by a Blue Cross representative that the plan would cover hospital stays. “I blame myself, too, obviously, for not reading the fine print of the plan,” she said. “It’s my responsibility. But I really do think it’s deceptive for the insurance company to do that — to tell you you’re covered when you’re not.”

As a result of the huge hospital bills, Karrie has had to take out a second mortgage on her home and dig into her retirement savings.

“There’s almost nothing left now,” Karrie said. “I’m going to have to worry about that after paying off the debt.”

Karrie has since changed health care providers, and is now actively searching for affordable, sufficient coverage through the healthcare.gov insurance marketplace. As far as her old Blue Cross plan, because the plan didn’t comply with the so-called “ten essential health benefits” that the Affordable Care Act requires, Blue Cross chose to cancel the plan rather than modify it to fit the new law.

Karrie thinks that’s just fine. “I don’t want anyone else to go through what I went through,” she says. “Two Band-Aids and a roll of gauze, it’s just not enough. Trust me.”

Categories
Politics

Congressman Voting His Conscience, or Whatever That’s Called

Washington – Representative Jason Armon, Democrat of Virginia, announced Saturday he is changing his vote on health care reform legislation from ‘no’ to ‘yes.’ In a brief session with reporters at the Capitol, Armon explained why he is now voting in favor of the bill, after opposing it previously.

“I am voting yes on this bill because on an issue such as this, I felt I must vote my conscience. Or whatever that thing’s called. The thing that tells you what’s right and wrong. Your, your moral center. Whatever they call doing what that thing tells them to do when they vote, that’s what I’m doing.”

Mr. Armon denied that he is now voting for the bill because he has been promised a spot on the House Ethics Committee.

“My vote has nothing whatsoever to do with promises or deals or anything of that nature,” he said. “Unless you count the promise I made to the American people, and the people of Virginia’s 12th district. And my conscience. Then it is about promises. Because when I promise my conscience something, boy, I deliver. I don’t disappoint my conscience. Because, you know, when you disappoint your conscience… you… um… Look, all I know is I’m voting my conscience. Unless that doesn’t mean what I think it means, in which case I’m not doing that.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would neither confirm or deny that Armon has been offered a spot on the Ethics Committee. She would only say that he was voting for the bill because he thought he was doing the right thing.

“Representative Armon is voting for health care reform because he believes in health care reform,” Pelosi said. “He believes in health care reform in his heart. Or wherever people believe in things.”

Categories
National

Abortion to Receive Govt. Funding Only When Two or More Women Might Die

Washington – A Democratic House member whose amendment to the House health care reform bill restricting abortion funding had already provoked intense debate, revised that amendment Thursday, making it even more restrictive.

Categories
National

Study: Most Sick Americans Will be Dead by the Time Health Care Bill Passes

Bethesda, MD – A study released Wednesday by the National Institutes of Health finds that an overwhelming majority of sick Americans will be dead by the time a health care bill passes

Categories
Politics

Sources: Grassley May Be Biased Against Public Health Plan Because He’s Already Dead

Washington – Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the all-important Senate Finance Committee, could be unfairly biased against the inclusion of a public option in health care reform legislation because he is already dead, according to two former congressional aides. The aides both requested anonymity because they did not want to anger Senator Grassley.

“It was 2006 when we first suspected he might be dead,” one former aide said. “February of 2006. He suddenly took on a kind of ghostly pallor, and never ate anything. I accidentally touched his arm once when reaching for some papers and it was cold. Ice cold.”