An update on a couple of stories from the past week…
You will recall the story about the “next Fox News Obamacare poster victim,” Dianne Barrette. She was the woman who received a notice from her insurance company that her health care insurance premium was going up by a factor of ten, which was made an issue by CBS News. She did make it onto the Greta Van Susteren show on Fox, but by then her story was rapidly deflating, leaving Van Susteren with an awkward interview. Sadly, Ms. Barrette didn’t pass the this-is-a-good-story-for-Fox-News test, so her planned subsequent network appearances were canceled.
Meanwhile, a number of actual reporters followed up on her story, and now Ms. Barrette has changed her tune. Aside from the fact that her so-called insurance is not what most people would even consider to be insurance, she can get coverage via the exchanges for as little as about $100 a month — about $50 more than she pays for her non-insurance.
Jonathan Cohn goes into considerably more detail about Ms. Barrette’s options, including the types of trade-offs people face when weighing various health care options. He summarizes:
Even so, Barrette’s take is a reminder that people can have a longer-view perspective about medical bills than pundits frequently assume. When I gave her a broad description of the plans available, she seemed interested. I noted that she’d be paying $100 or $150 extra a month for policies that still had high cost-sharing, so that she would still be a lot of money out of her own pocket. (I also made very clear that I’m not an insurance agent or broker—that, when she finally goes shopping for insurance, she should talk to a real expert for advice.) Here was her response: “I would jump at it,” she said. “With my age, things can happen. I don’t want to have bills that could make me bankrupt. I don’t want to lose my house.”
Barrette can’t be sure until she sees the numbers for herself. And so far she hasn’t been able to do so, thanks to the technological problems at healthcare.gov. But as she’s become more aware of her options, she said, she’s no longer aghast at losing her plan—and curious to see what alternatives are available. “Maybe,” she told me, “it’s a blessing in disguise.”
Saturday’s Tweet Of The Day was about the the propensity of Rand Paul and/or his staff to plagiarize the work of others in his writing and speeches. Having this pointed out has made Rand angry. He wishes he could challenge people like Rachel Maddow to a duel. Meanwhile, the instances of plagiarism continue to pile up.
Today, the New York Times published an article after interviewing Paul, who “offered a mix of contrition and defiance. He said that he was not certain whether it would affect his prospects should he decide to run for president in 2016 — he said he would happily return to his Kentucky doctor’s practice — and he asserted that he was being unfairly targeted.” Promising that “that there would be an office ‘restructuring’ to prevent future occurrences,” he told the Times:
“What we are going to do from here forward, if it will make people leave me the hell alone, is we’re going to do them like college papers,” he said. “We’re going to try to put out footnotes. We’re going to have them available. If people want to request the footnoted version, we’re going to have it available.”
This comes on the heels of him whining on “This Week” that “I think I’m being unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters.”
Meanwhile, The Washington Times has ended Paul’s weekly column. “We expect our columnists to submit original work and to properly attribute material, and we appreciate that the senator and his staff have taken responsibility for an oversight in one column,” Times Editor John Solomon said.
I’ve got a deal for you, Rand. How about if we leave you the hell alone and you leave us the hell alone.