A leukemia patient in Michigan who starred in pro-Republican ads calling Obamacare “unaffordable” stands to save at least $1,200 due to the law, according to the Detroit News.
Julie Boonstra, 49, who suffers from leukemia, is featured prominently in the Koch-backed Americans For Prosperity ads. She told a heartbreaking tale of Obamacare canceling her insurance plan and lamenting that her new one was too expensive.
“If I do not receive my medication, I will die,” Boonstra says in the ad. “I feel lied to.”
When journalists looked into her claim, Boonstra identified the new plan she chose on the Obamacare exchanges: a so-called “gold” plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield, per the Detroit News.
Her old plan cost $1,100 per month, which adds up to $13,200 a year in premiums alone — before co-pays, out-of-pocket costs and drug expenses.
Her new plan costs $571 per month, which adds up to $6,852 per year. Her out-of-pocket costs are maxed at $5,100, which means a maximum cost of $11,952 per year. That means her new plan cannot cost her more than her old plan.
In other words, Boonstra would save at least $1,248 under Obamacare.
When the Detroit News told her this, Boonstra was in disbelief, saying it “can’t be true.”
“I personally do not believe that,” she told the paper.
The Affordable Care Act sets a maximum of $6,350 in out of pocket costs. So even if Blue Cross were to raise her out-of-pocket costs to the upper limit, the worst case scenario is that Boonstra would pay under Obamacare is $13,202 with everything covered — which is what her old plan cost her on premiums alone. Either way, she saves money.
In the AFP ad, Boonstra — the ex-wife of Mark Boonstra, whom Gov. Rick Snyder (R) in 2012 appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals — attacked Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI), who voted for Obamacare and is running for his state’s open Senate seat this year. The group, funded by billionaire oil tycoons Charles and David Koch, is spending heavily to unseat Democrats in the 2014 elections.
It’s not the first time conservatives have trotted out a questionable Obamacare victim. Delivering the GOP response to the State of the Union this year, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) exaggerated the plight of a constituent who said her premiums had gone up under the president’s health care law. When the constituent, Bette Grenier of Spokane, was told she actually had better options under Obamacare, she chafed.
“I wouldn’t go on that Obama website at all,” Grenier told her local paper.
The embellished horror stories suggest that opponents are having a tough time finding Obamacare victims in their quest to take down the law.