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It's ben a little while since we've looked at a dumb lie about Obamacare, so how about we look at Americans ForThe Koch Brothers Prosperity and the foofaraw over their dumb ad claiming that Obamacare is killing a nice Michigan lady named Julie Boonstra, who has leukemia. It's a pretty sad story, in which Ms. Boonstra says Obamacare made her lose her insurance, and now she just can't afford her new plan's out-of-pocket costs. The ad ran in Michigan and urged viewers to call Rep. Gary Peters, who's running for the Senate, to tell him to stop killing nice Julie Boonstra with Obamacare.


As it turns out, the Washington Post determined the AFP ad to be Pinnochio-on-fire bullshit. Boonstra didn't have to switch doctors, and despite claiming that her out-of-pocket costs are "unaffordable," she actually now has a much lower monthly premium, a savings that equals her plan's out-of-pocket $6,350 maximum. Even so, could she keep her old plan? She could not! INPEACH.

To make matters worse, says AFP, mean old Rep. Peters is trying to "intimidate and silence Julie Boonstra"! What a monster he is, trying to silence Ms. Boonstra like that! What did he do, send a goon squad to tell her to shut up?

Far worse -- he sent a letter to Michigan TV stations to "strong-arm [them] to simply pull “Julie’s Story” from the airwaves." And AFP's news release even included a link to Peters's threatening strong-arm letter (PDF), which says some really intimidating things, like calling the ad "misleading" and telling the stations that "For the sake of both FCC licensing requirements and the public interest, your station should immediately require AFP to provide the factual documentation for its claims if you are going to continue airing this advertisement." Man, it's like something out of a Scorsese movie, isn't it? Why, the letter even reminds the stations that they are obligated to comply with FCC truth in advertising regulations, or they could lose their license, which is pretty much the equivalent of swinging a baseball bat directly at Julie Boonstra's kneecaps.

And yet the letter appears to have accomplished its foul purposes -- stations did ask AFP for documentation, and the group grudgingly provided a really vague statement with precisely two bits of documentation for the ad: 1) an insurance company statement that out-of-pocket costs in Michigan could go up for many patients, but were limited by law to a maximum of $6,350; and 2) a paragraph from a Politico story saying that consumers might face "unpredictable, expensive, out-of-pocket costs." Except that the out-of-pocket costs in Michigan aren't unpredictable -- they're capped at that $6,350, and then the insurance plan picks up the rest. And as we already noted, Ms. Boonstra's lower monthly premium works out to a savings of almost exactly the same amount. So why is Americans for the Kochs' Prosperity insisting that her insurance is now "unaffordable"?

You might almost get the impression that like other Obamacare horror stories, the facts are far less horrifying than ACA opponents would like people to believe. But there's plenty of political advantage to scaring people about their insurance, so let's not bet on Americans for Prosperity For Some to change their tactics anytime soon.

And we genuinely wish Julie Boonstra the best in her treatment. We'd also suggest she find some new friends -- being embraced by liars who want to exploit her can't possibly be good for her.

[WaPo via LAT / AFP]

Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter.

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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