College President: My Mother Lost Life-Saving Drugs Due to Obamacare

Monday, 24 Feb 2014 10:13 AM

By Courtney Coren

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Obamacare has left the mother of college president Stephen Blackwood without the cancer treatments that have kept her alive for almost 10 years.

Blackwood's mother was diagnosed with carcinoid cancer in 2005. While carcinoid is considered terminal, the Ralston College president says that "she wouldn't still be here without that semimonthly Sandostatin shot that slows the onslaught of her disease," he writes in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal.

However, the insurance plan she had for almost 20 years that covered the costs of her treatment was canceled in November because it was deemed illegal under the Affordable Care Act.

After finding a plan from Humana that looked like it would cover her treatment, Blackwood's mother phoned the insurer to verify.

"The enrollment agent said that after she met her deductible, all treatments and medications — including those for her cancer — would be covered at 100 percent," Blackwood wrote.

"Because, however, the enrollment agents did not — unbelievable though this may seem — have access to the 'coverage formularies' for the plans they were selling, they said the only way to find out in detail what was in the plan was to buy the plan. (Does that remind you of anyone?)," he added.

However, Blackstone's mother was informed Feb. 12 that the Humana plan would not cover Sandostatin or any of her other cancer-related medications.

"This is a woman who had an affordable health plan that covered her condition," he said. "Our lawmakers weren't happy with that because . . . they wanted plans that were affordable and covered her condition. So they gave her a new one. It doesn't cover her condition, and it's completely unaffordable."

The Ralston College president says that the problems his mother has faced with Obamacare is proof that "healthcare for 300 million people is so complicated that it cannot be centrally managed.

"The 'Affordable' Care Act is a brutal, Procrustean disaster," Blackstone concludes. "In principle, it violates the irreducible particularity of human life, and in practice it will cause many individuals to suffer and die. We can do better, and we must."

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