We’ve all seen the ad and heard Obama speak of his mother’s insurance circumstances often.
Obama has time and again held his mother up as an example of the pain that is caused by our current health care system. This is a difficult situation to discuss without coming off as heartless. No one wants to be accused of making hurtful statements about Obama’s mother. So we don’t discuss it. We need to.
According to Time.com:
In the fall of 1994, Ann was having dinner at her friend Patten’s house in Jakarta when she felt a pain in her stomach. A local doctor diagnosed indigestion. When Ann returned to Hawaii several months later, she learned it was ovarian and uterine cancer. She died on Nov. 7, 1995, at 52.
Yes, she was 52. She died right before her 53rd birthday. I’m not sure why Obama always says that she was 53 – don’t pummel me.
According to the NY Times.
After her diagnosis, Ms. Soetoro spent the last months of her life in Hawaii, near her mother.
It’s unclear why Ann Dunham returned to Hawaii; however it’s been widely publicized that she was mis-diagnosed while she was in Indonesia. Indonesia does not have socialized health care, in fact they have essentially no regulations and very little government support for health care. In fact, still today the system is so bad that according to the IRIN News network:
Indonesian hospitals are even known to keep patients “hostage” until family members can settle their bills.
It is clear that the reason Ann Dunham ultimately received the correct diagnosis and only treatment she received was due to her returned to the United States. Early detection of this type of cancer is important; according to the ACS, women diagnosed in the earliest stages have a five-year survival rate of 93% in the US. The five-year survival rate in Indonesia is 54.8%. As bad as Obama feels our health care is; how much more time could she have had if she had been in the US?
According Obama statements, his mother changed jobs and spent the end of her life fighting with insurance companies about coverage, pre-existing conditions, etc. He’s right, this would be a tough situation to have to go through.
Which is exactly why we passed HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 21, 1996. The year following Ann Dunham death. If in fact, as Obama has stated multiple times that his mom had changed jobs and that was why there were arguments over the cancer being a pre-existing condition; this would be irrelevant today under our HIPAA law.
He continually uses this personal story to sell his health care plan; however every time he uses it – he’s being deceptive – as what happened to his mom does not apply to our insurance laws today.
Once again Obama is spreading mis-leading/mis-information to the American people. But don’t worry, I have reported him.