The Daily Mail (UK)
Boy with cancer loses coverage after Obamacare launch
Bureaucrats won't help unless he is 'pregnant or an illegal alien'
WASHINGTON — Hunter Alford is the happy kid next door with a big grin who idolizes country music star Blake Shelton.
His parents call him a “wild, fun loving, zombie-killing boy who loves the military and police.”
He is normal in every way, except this 7-year-old already plays guitar and keyboards and has his heart set on learning to fiddle.
Something else sets Hunter apart. He was born with a rare form of cancer and lost his health insurance just after Obamacare went into effect.
Americans were told the health-care law was designed to help children just like Hunter, born with a deadly pre-existing condition and little means to pay for expensive treatments.
The Affordable Care Act was not supposed to take away the insurance these most-vulnerable children already had and leave them utterly defenseless against a life-threatening disease.
Answers are hard to come by, but it looks like that’s what the president’s signature achievement has done in the small town of Gainesville, Texas.
‘Why would you cancel a kid?’
Ron and Krista Alford’s two children, Hunter and his sister, Makayla, were both born with an extremely rare form of cancer called Plexiform Hishocyne Neoplasm.
The parents said their children “have known nothing other than hospitals, doctors, sickness and pain.”
Makayla is currently in remission, but Hunter is in the second fight of his young life against cancer. He is hospitalized and needs another round of chemotherapy, which will cost $50,000 without insurance, leaving his parents at their wit’s end.
Concerned individuals may contact Texas Health and Human Services ombudsman on behalf of Hunter and/or contribute to the Heroes for Hunter fund.
Krista’s strong Midwestern spirit was immediately evident as she described her family’s dilemma to WND, but so was the fear in her trembling voice, as she carefully searched for the right words.
“Why would you cancel a kid?” she asked. “I really want to send Obama and all of them pictures of my son. He has scars all over his head. He doesn’t want to leave the house because he’s afraid people are going to make fun of him because he’s bald.”
Changes required under Obamacare
The insurance company initially told Krista that Hunter’s information was lost while it was making changes required under the newly implemented health-care law.
Hunter was insured under the Children’s Health Insurance Program in Texas, or CHIP.
According to the CHIP website, “Families with children who get Children’s Medicaid pay nothing and children with CHIP pay no more than $50 a year for health care coverage.”
Krista explained that CHIP is different from Medicaid.
“With CHIP you have to pay a copay for every doctor’s visit, and you’ve got to pay so much for prescriptions,” she said.
Did she have any suspicions as to why her child was dropped?
She said “No” and suspected the company might be confused.
“They sent me a letter asking me why Hunter was being hospitalized, and if he had been in an accident,” she explained. “I sent back a letter saying that he has cancer, a very rare type of cancer, and that he is seeking chemotherapy.”
She hopes it is just one big bureaucratic blunder.
“I can’t see the government canceling him because they are paying too much for all his stuff,” Krista said. “It’s possible. But I can’t see that happening because I figure the government makes a lot of money.”
Many stories, no explanation
When reporter Allison Harris of local KXII-TV broke the story in Gainesville and tried to contact anyone at CHIP for an explanation as to why Hunter lost his insurance, she was unsuccessful, as was WND.
Harris persisted and told WND on Wednesday she had finally reached a media spokeswoman, Texas Health and Human Services Communication Director Stephanie Goodman.
Even though she had not seen the specifics of Hunter’s case, Goodman claimed the problem was not caused by the Affordable Care Act.
However, Goodman also appeared to contradict that claim by confirming to Harris that the department has had problems as it made transfers to prepare for the new health-care law.
Describing a confusing process reminiscent of the horror stories the nation has heard since the launching of Obamacare, Goodman said that those who had CHIP and Medicaid got their CHIP canceled and became insured through Medicaid, because it has greater benefits.
‘Glitch’ cancels cancer coverage
Once Goodman located Hunter’s case file she got back to Harris and, without being able to divulge details, appeared to indicate the Alfords do not meet the financial standards for CHIP.
For a family of four, the cutoff is $47,100. She said the state re-evaluates family income every six months when families reapply for coverage.
However, Krista told WND that Hunter had been covered for a year and a half without ever having to reapply for coverage, and she was never notified that she had to reapply for coverage. ...
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The skeptic is never for real. There he stands, cocktail in hand, left arm draped languorously on one end of the mantelpiece, telling you that he can't be sure of anything, not even of his own existence. I'll give you my secret method of demolishing universal skepticism in four words. Whisper to him: "Your fly is open." If he thinks knowledge is so all-fired impossible, why does he always look? — James Sire (from, The Universe Next Door)