Meet Shannon Wendt from Grand Rapids, Michigan (Hi Shannon!). Koch-sucking Americans For Prosperity has done it again! With Shannon’s help, the organization has produced yet another ad attacking the Affordable Care Act and, of course, a Democratic candidate who supports it–in this case, Congressman Gary Peters.
Wendt, a mother of five who totally has no agenda whatsoever, appeared on FOX News to publicize her experience with heathcare.gov. She said that she spent “hours” in an attempt to get answers and that at one point her children were declared ineligible. According to Wendt, a supervisor called it “one of the worst cases of a glitch” he had ever seen.
She told FOX News that We did find an interim plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield. “The premium is $400, and the deductible is high as well. We are waiting to get all of our information in the mail.” The plan is eligible for a subsidy but because she chose not to purchase it through the exchange, they were not able to claim it.
Her old plan cost $260 per month with a $5,000 deductible, she says. She told FOX News that she plans to cancel that one “once they are able to get coverage via the exchange.”
Her story differed elsewhere, though. She told MLive that her old plan had $10,000 in out of pocket costs–double what she told FOX News. With the subsidy, she says, the new plan will have about the same monthly cost.
Given the similar monthly rate and undoubtedly lower monthly costs, one might think that our heroine would be satisfied. Levi Russell, an Americans For Prosperity spokesman, said the “biggest change since those comments in January was that Shannon and her husband did more research, and realized that the available plans with costs comparable to their older plan that was canceled did not meet the healthcare needs of their family. The plan that does meet their needs is much more expensive. This is primarily due to the narrower provider networks on plans available on the exchange.”
He added, “While researching plans available on the exchange, Shannon and her husband realized it would mean enrolling their children in Michigan’s CHIP plan, MIChild,” Russell said. “They had MICHild for a short time years ago, and had a very bad experience with it. In addition, after more research, they determined that going that route would mean losing access to their doctor, which was not an option for them.”
What might lead to this vague complaint about it not meeting the healthcare needs of the family? According to the Fact Checker,
[box type=”shadow”]Wendt, incidentally, is a Republican precinct delegate for Michigan’s 2nd congressional district. In June, she signed a toughly worded petition warning GOP lawmakers in the Michigan House of Representatives not to accept expansion of Medicaid or the creation of a health care exchange permitted under the Affordable Care Act—or face a suspension of “all monetary and logistical support.” The petition sought to bind the Republicans to the themes of the party’s 2012 platform that declared the law was an “attack on our Constitution” and an “attempt to impose upon Americans a euro-style bureaucracy.”[/box]
The Americans For Prosperity spokesman defended the current spokesperson for why Obamacare is destroying our nation. “The Wendts’ political leanings do nothing to diminish their experience under Obamacare and I hope those beliefs will not be held against them,” Russell said. “The facts remain the same: they had a plan they liked, they were told they could keep it by President Obama, Rep. Peters and others and that plan was canceled. Now they are stuck with a plan they don’t want.”
However, the Fact Checker had this to say:
[box type=”shadow”]”The Fact Checker leaves it to readers to decide if Wendt’s active participation in GOP politics undermines her credibility as an Obamacare victim. But at this point, we do not have enough information to determine whether and how her insurance costs have become unaffordable, as claimed in the ad. So, for now, we have to leave this as verdict pending.”[/box]
An update was later added that explained,
[box type=”shadow”] In light of the fact that the family had an option to choose a less expensive plan, we are changing the rating to Two Pinocchios. Clearly the family may not have been happy with the children going on Medicaid, and it is their right to choose a more expensive plan. But it makes her claim of “unaffordable” harder to swallow.[/box]
“Two Pinnochios” means that her claims include “Significant omissions and/or exaggerations. Some factual error may be involved but not necessarily. A politician can create a false, misleading impression by playing with words and using legalistic language that means little to ordinary people.”