Will Las Vegas Man’s $407K Obamacare Horror Story Get Harry Reid’s Attention?
In February, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) 13% stood on the Senate floor and proclaimed “plenty of horror stories [are] being told” about Obamacare and “all of them are untrue.”
His constituent and Las Vegan Larry Basich probably disagrees. Obamacare has left him in a terribly difficult position: he owes $407,ooo for a medical procuedure he thought his insurance plan would cover. But thanks to glitches and a plan selecting error on the exchange, no carrier is claiming him.
After a torturous month-long process of trying to sign up on the exchange website, Basich finally got through and chose his plan, UnitedHealthcare’s MyHPNSilver1. He paid his first premium of $160.77 on November 21, and because he paid a month before the December 23 deadline, his coverage was supposed to begin on January 1.
Or so he thought.
Weeks ticked by, but Basich received nothing to confirm he had insurance. Nevada Health Link kept telling him he was enrolled, but UnitedHealthcare said he wasn’t in their system.
Basich’s predicament went critical on Dec. 31, when he had a heart attack. His treatment, which included a triple bypass on Jan. 3, resulted in $407,000 in medical bills in January and February that no insurer is covering.
Basich and his insurance broker, Tamar Burch of Branch Benefits Consultants, said the issue appears to be confusion at the state exchange. Xerox’s system says Basich chose a plan from another insurer, Nevada Health CO-OP, even though Basich has paperwork that shows he selected MyHPNSilver1. In short, Xerox can’t seem to decide where Basich belongs, Burch said.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Basich is still in “no-man’s-land” where no carrier claims him. Harry Reid’s office is allegedly trying to help him out, but one of the Senator’s health care legislative aides said, “at this point it’s in the hands of Xerox to see what can be done.”
This story is a powerful example of how Obamacare can harm people, but Sen. Reid and other Obamacare supporters are harming Americans on a broader scale by diminishing choice and competition in health care and eroding the doctor-patient relationship. Embarrassing stories are constantly popping up about the health care exchange, but the law itself is fundamentally flawed.
Instead of a government takeover of health care, we need an patient-centered, market-based health care system.