McConnell runs anti-Obamacare ad with doctor who connects pre-existing condition with cancellation of insurance

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is running his first re-election commercial focused on the federal health-reform law, featuring a Somerset physician saying “As a doctor, I see how Obamacare hurts patients’ access to care.” She says McConnell is working for “common-sense health care reforms,” which are not specified, and is leading the fight to repeal the law.

Sandy Schuldheisz adds that her son has diabetes and her plan was “cancelled under Obamacare. Like many, we now pay more for less coverage.” That may cause an incorrect inference. “The Affordable Care Act also prohibits insurance companies from dropping or denying coverage to Kentuckians because they have a pre-existing condition, such as diabetes,” notes Joe Sonka of Insider Louisville. Many policies were canceled because they didn’t meet the law’s requirements.
Sonka, a McConnell critic, reports that he “requested more background information on Schuldheisz’s personal situation from the McConnell campaign — such as her premium rate before and after, and whether she received insurance through her employer or individually,” and the campaign has not provided it.

Gov. Steve Beshear told Sonka in a written statement, “We don’t know the specifics of the doctor’s claim about her family’s plan being canceled (although many folks with health insurance policies prior to ACA were allowed to maintain those older plans if they chose to). We do know that she could have shopped for affordable health insurance on kynect, and may have even qualified for a discount. The vast majority of Kentucky families who shopped on kynect qualified for some kind of payment assistance or subsidy. Finally, the ACA required insurers to offer standard, robust benefits such as preventive care and vaccinations, mental health coverage, maternity and infant care, and prescription drugs.”

Sonka writes that Schuldheisz’s home Pulaski County “ranked among the top fifth in Kentucky counties with the largest estimated decrease in their uninsured rate” as a result of Obamacare. “As of this April’s signup deadline, 8,134 residents in the county had signed up for health care coverage through the state exchange. Based on Kynect estimates that 75 percent of their enrollees did not previously have insurance, this means Pulaski County’s percentage of uninsured residents may have fallen from 18 percent to under 7 percent.”

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