Cancer Patient Stuck with Higher Bills as Obama Risk Pool Runs Low on Cash

Coping with advanced cancer, Bev Veals was in the hospital for chemo this summer when she got a call that her health plan was shutting down. Then, the substitute insurance she was offered wanted her to pay up to $3,125, on top of premiums.cancermanagement

It sounds like one of those insurance horror stories President Barack Obama told to sell his health overhaul to Congress, but Veals wasn’t in the clutches of a profit-driven company. Instead, she’s covered by Obama’s law — one of about 100,000 people with serious medical issues in a financially troubled government program. (More)

Comments (14)

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  1. Krista says:

    This is ridiculous. There’s no persuasive reason to do Obamacare unless costs are going down?

    • Cecil says:

      If costs went slightly up, and the healthcare completely covered everything and it was a paradise of health. That would be the only persuasive reason.

  2. Jenn says:

    Is anyone surprised? Market distortion is market distortion.

    • Cecil says:

      False. Markets move in cycles, the amount needed to distort the market is about the same to distort the climate. Way more than people could create.

  3. Shay says:

    “Part of the problem with PCIP stems from a decision by the president and Congress more than three years ago to cap funding at $5 billion. Some experts warned that might not be enough to last through the end of 2013.”

    Sad day when 5bn isn’t enough to do the job.

    • Cecil says:

      In a world of multi hundred billion dollar bailouts, and trillion dollar national debts, 5 billion is a drop in the bucket.

  4. Perry says:

    If the cancer doesn’t kill the patient, it can certainly kill the bank account. Analyses indicate cancers are going to continue to escalate with our aging population, so we need to take a hard look at how to help these folks. Unfortunately, I don’t think Obamacare is the solution.

    • Cecil says:

      What would the solution be? So far the healthcare industry has continued to be an unchangeable monster.

  5. Rocky says:

    So where is the money going to come from for the remainder of the year?

  6. Rutledge says:

    Printing presses at the US Mint. Arguably not backed by any tangible item.

  7. Studebaker says:

    This is tragic. However, it’s indicative of the problems insurers face when the public wants unlimited benefits and the only way to provide that is to increase premiums

  8. Bob Hertz says:

    Great post, but the truth is buried somewhere. The Obama admin should have added funds to the PCIP right away, but didn’t it?

    Would Republicans really have stifled this minor expense, (a tiny percent of Storm Sandy funds), just to embarrass Obama?

    Or did the Democrats not even bring forward an increase, so that they would not be embarrassed by their underfunding?

    The program itself suffered the fate of nearly every government health program in recent history. It opened the door to persons who had been uninsured and so had been postponing all manner of operations for years.

    If the same thing happens with the Health Care Exchanges, look out for huge premium increases after year one.

    As a side issue, I for years have advocated a kind of mandatory assignment for cancer care. If the insurer pays $5000 for a chemo treatment, then the provider would be mandated to accept that without balance billing.

    This barely begins to claw back the gruesome profits that drug companies and some oncologists have harvested from dying persons who have no choice in their care.

    Is this price control? absolutely. When a patient is dying they are totally vulnerable, and gouging them for profits is close to evil in my book.