House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was pretty aggressive yesterday in pushing the latest Affordable Care Act horror story, this time about a New York father who was reportedly told his 18-month-old daughter couldn’t be included on the family’s plan. Boehner promoted the story on his site and Twitter feed to help get the word out.
And since we’re talking about the nation’s most powerful lawmaker, and not some random conservative activist, perhaps this one deserves to be taken seriously? Actually, no – Boehner was pushing the latest bogus tale.
On Sunday morning, the New York Post published the story of Cornelius Kelly, who was dismayed to learn that the New York State health insurance plans could cover his wife and three older children, but that he would have to buy a separate plan for his 18-month-old daughter.
Fox News ran with the story on Monday morning, and had Kelly on to retell the tale. Within hours, the story had spread.
The problem is, Kelly appears to have been given some bad information. Family plans in New York cover the whole family. No baby has to wait until its second birthday to join a family plan, as the article described Kelly being told.
“It was 100 percent false,” said Bill Schwarz, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Health. “Of course, everyone is covered in the family policy.”
At issue in this case was Kelly, a failed conservative candidate for the state legislature, who made a mistake applying for coverage – he listed having three children instead of four. The error caused a clerical issue, which was later resolved.
And that’s it. That’s the whole story. Kelly’s paperwork was straightened out and his kids are covered.
So here’s the follow-up question for the Speaker of the House: how about an acknowledgement that this story is bogus? Boehner cited this as proof that the Affordable Care Act is a “train wreck,” and told his Twitter followers how awful it is that “Obamacare” won’t cover this poor man’s baby – which is the exact opposite of the truth.
If the Speaker’s anecdotal evidence can’t stand up to even cursory scrutiny, should we assume the health care law isn’t nearly as bad as he’d like us to believe?