Woman's claim her Obamacare plan is 'unaffordable' gets 3 Pinocchios

March 11, 2014 at 3:38 PM
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DETROIT, March 11 (UPI) -- A shift in language and the lack of documentation in an ad running in Michigan on Obamacare was upgraded from two Pinocchios to three, the Washington Post said.

In the first ad in February, sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, Michigan resident Julia Boonstra said her insurance was canceled because of the Affordable Care Act and her out-of-pocket costs "are so high, it's unaffordable." The ad attacked Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., who is running for Senate.

In March, after Democrats demanded documentation, the language in the ad was changed to "Because of Obamacare, I am now stuck with a plan that doesn't work for me. My choice was taken away from me."

The Post cited two problems with the original ad.

First, Boonstra, a cancer patient, suggested she lost her "wonderful doctor" when she could keep her doctor in her new plan. Second, her premiums were cut from $1,100 a month to $571 and the savings were slightly more than the out-of-pocket costs permitted under the healthcare law.

The Detroit News reported she said her old plan cost $1,100 a month in premiums and didn't include money she spent on co-pays, prescription drugs and other out-of-pocket expenses.

The Post said fact-checkers were led to believe Boonstra had a Blue Cross Blue Shield silver individual plan but couldn't determine her actual plan because Americans for Prosperity declined to document her claim.

In an interview with the Post, Boonstra said, "People are asking me for the numbers and I don't know those answers -- that's the heartbreak of all of this. It's the uncertainty of not having those numbers that I have an issue with."

On March 10, the Detroit News reported Boonstra said she had a Premier Gold plan with an out-of-pocket cap of $5,100 a year.

A Blue Cross Blue Shield spokesman told the News all of her prescriptions were covered and her drug co-pays would help meet her out-of-pocket maximum.

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