Obama fudges another health-care horror story
posted at 10:12 am on September 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Does anyone get the feeling that Barack Obama would have made a great summer-camp cabin mate? Especially around the campfire, as kids began telling ghost stories to scare everyone else, Obama would probably have told the most outrageous and frightening stories — simply by embellishing stories he heard from other people. As President, he has shown himself adept at this practice, having wildly embellished two health-care horror stories in the past month to frighten people into backing ObamaCare:
One of President Barack Obama’s health care “horror stories” is about a woman who, he says, lost her health insurance on the verge of breast cancer surgery because she didn’t disclose a case of acne to the insurer. That’s not what happened.
Robin Lynn Beaton, 59, of Waxahachie, Texas, indeed had her insurance suspended and then terminated when she needed it the most. Hers is a cautionary tale about how an insurance company can act in a seemingly arbitrary manner to revoke coverage for lifesaving treatment.
But not for the reasons Obama cites.
She “was about to get a double mastectomy when her insurance company canceled her policy because she forgot to declare a case of acne,” he said in one telling.
Beaton did not lose her insurance because she failed to own up to a skin problem in her past. She lost it because, when enrolling in the plan, she had not reported a previous heart condition and did not list her weight accurately.
As the Associated Press reports, the surgery she needed had nothing to do with a heart condition. However, hiding a pre-existing heart condition from an insurer is much more significant than an acne condition. Obama tells the story as if the insurer acted irrationally, when in fact the woman hid important information in order to obtain the insurance in the first place.
She didn’t miss the surgery, either, but not because of the beneficence of the insurer. She contacted Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who demanded that the insurance company reinstate her policy, especially since the breast cancer had nothing to do with the prior heart condition. After a few days, in which Barton made clear that he would make Beaton’s case a national cause, the insurer reinstated Beaton and she had her surgery ten weeks later.
President Obama warned people not to spread myths about health care and insurance, but he seems to be the Mythmaker in Chief these days. Maybe he should stop retelling tall tales and start governing his own tongue before instructing anyone else on governing theirs.