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Monday, February 3, 2014

My friend's sister died because of O'care. Ann Coulter has more

This was in the Washington Times: Ann Coulter claims friend’s sister died due to Obamacare:
Conservative pundit Ann Coulter said during a weekend appearance on “Fox & Friends” that her friend’s sister died due to Obamacare — because she was booted off her long-held insurance plan and subsequently delayed seeking emergency medical attention.
Ms. Coulter said her friend’s sister had been covered by Blue Shield of California, Mediaite reported. But after Obamacare went into effect, the insurer pulled out off the state, leaving the woman without medical coverage. 
The woman then contracted a fever, but delayed going to the emergency room because she hadn’t yet obtained new coverage, Ms. Coutler said. She went into septic shock on Thursday and died over the weekend, Ms. Coulter said on the “Fox & Friends” segment. 
“This does have real-world consequences,” Ms. Coulter said of Obamacare, on “Fox & Friends.” When host Tucker Carlson commented that the story was “shocking,” Ms. Coulter said: “But it isn’t.” 
She went on, Mediaite reported: “It’s expected. We knew this would happen. It’s a horrible story and people need to know about these stories. I emailed her and asked her if I could tweet this, and she said, ‘Julie would be very happy for you to tweet this.’ “
and Breitbart has posted the Video of Ann's interview here. That post has over 1,100 comments already, many of which have to do with either 1. the unsubstantiated nature of the information and the lack of detail and/or 2. the fact that she should have either done a better job of replacing her cancelled insurance or gone to the ER anyway.

Julie, the woman who died, was one of 7 children - she had 4 sisters and 2 brothers. One of her other sisters (not the one who spoke with Ann) is a close friend of mine, and the facts as reported above are accurate. She had signed up for new insurance but it wouldn't take effect until Feb 2 so she was putting off going to the doctor. I understand the skepticism regarding vaguely sourced reports such as this, and generally I am just as skeptical; in this particular case, there is no mistake involved.  I'm not giving out her name because her family has not chosen, at this point, to do so.

For the record, she has four kids - one has grown up and moved out, but the three left at home are ages 13 - 19.

The decision not to seek emergency treatment that you have to pay for out of pocket is one made over and over again by millions of people and is, generally, a financially responsible one.  She chose not to accrue thousands of dollars worth of debt because she assumed that she would either get through it on her own or see a doctor when her insurance kicked in. She was wrong this time, but the vast majority of the time when someone makes such a decision the results aren't fatal.  The may not be good in terms of long-term health, but if you don't have the money and aren't willing to stiff the hospital your choices are limited.

I don't think that those who don't have to worry about their bills or who have secure jobs and, therefore, employer-provided insurance, can appreciate the kinds of choices that need to be made if you don't have those resources.  

Sound like a commercial for government health care?  It's not.  People like Julie would have a lot more resources of their own if those resources weren't being sucked out of them by excessive taxation.  They would be much more likely to be able to thrive financially if the regulatory climate didn't make it so difficult to start a business (Julie was a photographer).  Healthcare would be much cheaper if meaningful tort reform (malpractice policy) was passed over the objections of the trial lawyers who contribute millions to Democratic candidates.  Access to commonly needed pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics on the open market and without the current regulatory barriers would help.*

By the way, it's mostly irrelevant to the discussion, but Julie's father was rather well-known - he was General Daniel Graham, known, along with President Reagan, for the development and subsequent support of Missile Defense, generally known as the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI or "Star Wars"). 

*I personally have, for years, kept a stock of antibiotics (generally Amoxicillin) ordered from overseas pharmacies.

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