During his Presidential campaign and in the campaign to institute Obamacare Barack Obama repeatedly referred to his mother’s inability to get health insurance and having to fight for payments.
“For my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they’re saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don’t have to pay her treatment, there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.”
“I will never forget my own mother, as she fought cancer in her final months, having to worry about whether her insurance would refuse to pay for her treatment,”
“My Mother, who was self-employed, didn’t have reliable healthcare, and she died of ovarian cancer. There probably is nothing modern medicine could have done about that, it was caught late and thats a hard cancer to diagnose. I do remember the last six months of her life, insurance companies threatening that they would not reimburse her for her costs. And her having to be on the phone in the hospital arguing with insurance companies when what she should have been doing is spending time with her family.”
There is a problem with this.
A book by Janny Scott, “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother,” discloses that Ann Dunham was not denied health insurance or payment for her cancer treatment.
Dunham was denied only disability insurance, based on the terms of the contract. Obama has most definitely allowed people to think that his mother was denied payment for her treatments.
Robert J. Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard, said that if an alternate narrative about Ms. Dunham’s dispute had been discovered during the 2008 campaign “people would have considered it a significant error.” He added: “I just took for granted that it was a pre-existing condition health insurance issue.”
What grates on those of us in the health care profession is the constant and dishonest haranguing of insurance companies by disingenuous people like Barack Obama. The insurance company- Cigna in this case- was only honoring the terms of the contract as contracted by Dunham’s employer.
And what grates us even more is the sheer dishonesty of Barack Obama. And that dishonesty pervades the entire administration.
“As Ms. Scott’s account makes clear, the president’s mother incurred several hundred dollars in monthly uncovered medical expenses that she was relying on insurance to pay,” Mr. Papas said. “She first could not get a response from the insurance company, then was refused coverage. This personal history of the president’s speaks powerfully to the impact of pre-existing condition limits on insurance protection from health care costs.”
No it doesn’t. Ann Dunham wasn’t denied health care coverage.
What I find curious is that Obama apparently had a chance to challenge the denial of the disability claim and punted.
After several months, Cigna denied the claim. Ms. Dunham then requested a review, writing to Cigna that she had turned the case over to “my son and attorney, Barack Obama,” Ms. Scott wrote.
Ms. Scott said in the interview that she did not turn up documents to suggest that Ms. Dunham had a similar dispute with her health insurer, which she did not name. She said she could not determine from the documents she viewed whether Mr. Obama, then a lawyer in Chicago, had in fact petitioned Cigna on his mother’s behalf.
The White House does not dispute the veracity of Scott’s account.
But what kind of guy uses his mother’s death to score cheap political points?