Only Ann Coulter would lie about how a friend died to make Obamacare look bad. In the wake of seven million enrollments through healthcare.gov, many Republicans are turning to infamous, and often debunked, Obamacare horror stories to curtail the very evident success of healthcare reform. With Coulter though, its no longer fake stories of skyrocketing premiums, cancellation of plans, or maternity coverage for men. No. Ann Coulter decided to exploit the death of a real human being to seem relevant in the Obamacare debate, something she has no business being in.
Some might say this is a new low, but with Ann Coulter, anything is possible. Exploitation is one of her many talents.
It started when she tweeted on February 1st that “My friend’s sister died today because of Obamacare. Was thrown off insurance, waiting to get O-care, > septic shock, died at hospital.” She then reiterated her claim the next day on Fox & Friends Weekend with Tucker Carlson. Claiming the lady, who was only identified as Julie, died because she had been “thrown off her insurance, because, you know, Blue Shield completely just pulled out of California,” and that she “couldn’t get through the website,” would be reason enough to certainly cause an outrage.
Julie apparently developed a fever sometime in late January, and did not want to go to the doctors office without insurance. That Thursday, January 30th, she went into septic shock and died at the hospital. The next day, Coulter got the call, and it was off to twitter to blame the ACA.
Too bad Ann Coulter was rated “Pants on Fire” by politifact truth-o-meter after fact checking her claim that it was indeed Obamacare’s fault.
Coulter Lie No. 1: Ann claimed that Blue Shield “completely just pulled out of California” which would have rendered Julie without insurance. Whereas Blue Shield had not stopped writing health insurance policies in the individual market, including the federal exchanges and California’s own California Covered, 119,000 plans were “cancelled” because they did not include “essential health benefits” required by the new law. The 119,000 people received letters that notified them of their cancelled plan. Which leads into the next lie…
Coulter Lie No. 2: She certainly seemed to make Julie look helpless. Although the plan was “cancelled,” just like with the 300,000 Floridians, they technically did not lose coverage because they didn’t necessarily opt out. The letter that Julie and the 119,000 Californians got, in September, gave them the chance to temporarily extend their “cancelled” healthcare plans until March 2014 when they would be given alternatives until the enrollment deadline, because Blue Shield did not give customers the full 180 days notice. The plans would not be grandfathered in. Julie died in January, three months after notice, and three months before her plan would have officially expired. So how could Julie have gone without insurance if she became ill and died in January when they offered to keep it for her until March?
For a customer to be completely without Blue Shield coverage after getting the letter, and then having absolutely no coverage (or get “kicked off” as Coulter put it) she would have had to personally contact Blue Shield to cancel the outdated plan before its expiration in March. Julie canceled her plan herself, not Obamacare. If she has kept her plan up until March, she would have been alive today.
Coulter Lie No. 3: Covered California, the state’s own exchange, was not part of the botched federal healthcare.gov rollout. Saying that Julie was hampered with the healthcare.gov website. Around 500,000 people in California received coverage though Covered California from October-December 2013. The only time that the website featured any problems was the mass surge of sign ups near the end of open enrollment through 2014 coverage, which includes March and April 2014, two months after Coulter’s friend died.
In the word of Politifact’s article: “Blue Shield did not pull out of California, and the company did not leave people without insurance. In fact, customers were allowed to keep their existing insurance plans through March. If the basic facts of Coulter’s story are accurate, the woman in question elected to drop insurance coverage.”
Exploiting the death of a friend to pin it on Obamacare is the lowest, even for someone like Ann Coulter.