RUSH: Craig in Fairfield, Iowa. It’s great to have on you program, sir, hello.
CALLER: Well, thank you, Rush, for having me on your show. I’ve been listening to you from my days from the University of South Dakota back in the nineties, and you helped guide me through my college days and through my adult life.
RUSH: I’m glad that you hung in. I’m glad you’re still there. I really am. Thank you.
CALLER: Yeah, and second of all, I’d like to thank you for the books. We bought a set for my nephew, and what’s really cool about it is, that since we haven’t got a set for my daughter yet, he and her set up times to FaceTime each other and he’ll read the books to her. I can’t wait to get her her own books here shortly. It’s such a special moment to watch those two share Rush Revere.
RUSH: How old are the kids? What’s the age difference there?
CALLER: I have a 4-year-old daughter, and my nephew is 10.
RUSH: Oh, so the 4-year-old is really not proficient enough at reading yet.
CALLER: Yeah. But he’ll sit down and FaceTime each other, and they’ll read the books together.
RUSH: That is so cool. Your 4-year-old knows how to FaceTime.
CALLER: Yep. He knows more on the computer than I now. It’s amazing.
RUSH: Isn’t that cool? Isn’t that cool!
CALLER: As I said, I can’t wait to get her her own set of books so she can read them when she gets a little bit older and I can read them to her as well. But, getting back to what I really got past your man to get to talk to you is, I think Ted Cruz should be applauded for picking up Obamacare, and his colleagues in Congress should give up their Cadillac health care plan and face what today’s citizens face. Like, my plan has increased so much that I have to drop my individual plan, but luckily I just got a new full-time job where I can get health insurance for my daughter and myself.
RUSH: Wait just a minute. Hold it just a second. Did you say you just got a full-time job?
RUSH: How many hours?
CALLER: It’s gonna be 36 hours.
RUSH: Thirty-six hours is full time? Where did you get…? Did you get this job where you live, in Iowa?
CALLER: It’s in Iowa, yes. I just finished… I got laid off from my paramedic job because the business was having financial hardship because of insurance. I went back to school, completed my RN degree, and got hired at a local hospital nearby.
RUSH: So you found a full-time gig as a nurse. You’re an RN?
CALLER: I’m an RN now, yep, and I finally can get full-time insurance through that company.
RUSH: Man, oh, man. So there’s hope. Folks, this is a guy who actually found a full-time job.
RUSH: See? There is reason for hope, folks. There is reason to be optimistic. This is a guy who just did it, just found a full-time job in the Obama economy. I know it’s hard. Look what all you had to do to get it. It’s only 36 hours, but, nevertheless, you did it.
CALLER: Yep. That’s why I haven’t got my daughter the books yet because it’s been financially strapping. But I’m glad she was able to FaceTime with my nephew so she can read your book.
RUSH: Well, that’s gotta be cute. I mean, your nephew FaceTime reading the books for your 4-year-old daughter.
RUSH: So a family member has the books, but you don’t?
CALLER: No, I do not yet.
CALLER: ‘Cause I just got this job, and now I can get some money so I can go get the books. It’s working out, you know, and part of it is just listening to and learning.
RUSH: Well, we can’t have this. We can’t… (interruption) No, wait a minute. We cannot have this kind of intra-family rivalries. You hear this, what’s going on here? The nephew has… (interruption) What, you think this is a blatant appeal to score some books? (interruption) No. Snerdley’s saying, “He didn’t say a thing about the books during the screening process.” I don’t doubt that, but here’s what we’re gonna do.
What I’ve detected is an intra-family rivalry, here. I know how I felt when my cousin had more than I had growing up or vice versa. I know how they lauded it over us. So we’re gonna fix it. You just hang on out there, Craig, and we’ll send your daughter some goodies in addition to the books. Snerdley, bite the bullet in there. Don’t worry. (interruption) Yes, you have to be nice. If anybody’s getting snookered here, it’s me, and I don’t care. I’ll go into this eyes wide open.
Speaking of his point about health care, here’s another thing I’ve got in the Stacks today. This is from Investors, the former Investor’s Business Daily. It’s Investors.com. “Obamacare Causes a Descent into Madness Familiar to Many.” This is a piece written by a guy, and it’s basically his experience losing Obamacare and his inability to get insurance. I’m not gonna read the whole thing. It’ll take longer than I have.
Here’s how it starts: “Franz Kafka lives. Except even this spinner of tales of helpless victims of faceless bureaucracies might not have imagined a situation where a law-abiding citizen faces a fine for failing to take an action his government prohibits him from performing.” This guy was unaware of the fine circumstance if he didn’t have insurance. His problem is, he can’t get it, no matter where he goes!
Either the enrollment period has expired, or he can’t afford it, or companies will not cooperate with him. This guy, his whole piece is about his quest since last December to get health insurance, and he can’t get it. It’s the law of the land, his government demands that he has it, he can’t get it, and now he has to pay a fine. That’s essentially what he’s writing about here.
“Last September, my insurer…notified me that the health plan I’d had since 2009 would ‘not be available as of Jan. 1, 2015.’ No problem. In December, to locate alternative coverage, I called an Anthem ‘Health Plan Adviser’ who informed me that, in fact, I could keep my plan. Except late in the day on Christmas Eve, I received a letter from [the insurer] explaining that was a mistake, and I did need to apply for a new plan before Dec. 31. No problem.
“On Dec. 30, I spoke to another adviser, who emailed an application and said that if I faxed it back immediately, I would have my new coverage as of Jan. 1. Except Anthem never acknowledged receipt of the fax, even after I emailed the adviser, and no money was debited from my account. No problem. I was certain I had coverage, and that a simple call would clear up a harmless oversight. Except that there are no simple calls to health insurers these days.
“Every exchange takes carving an hour or more out of a busy business day to navigate endless phone trees and runarounds. So it was March before I finally found the time to call. After nearly three tortuous hours, a customer service representative informed me that Anthem had indeed received my application but that the fax was illegible,” couldn’t read it. “Rather than track down the adviser (whose name was in huge dark letters on the first page), look me up in their records, or make any other effort to contact me, Anthem had simply canceled my coverage.
“The horrified rep took my number and promised to call back with a resolution. No problem. I expected to hear back in a few hours, max a couple of days. Except I didn’t. Nearly a week later, I tried again. After another two hours of phone Pong, I was advised simply to call sales and request to resubmit my previous application. No problem. I called sales. Except when I did, I learned that under Affordable Care Act rules, with open enrollment over, Anthem could no longer sell me a plan.
“I’d have to go to the Health Care Marketplace. They might put up a fuss about the need for a special exception, but ultimately I would be able to buy coverage. No problem. I called the marketplace. And worked with a very pleasant person who appeared eager to help me. Except she asked if I needed an exception because I didn’t know before Feb. 15 about the requirement to have insurance or face a fine. I assured her that I had known. No problem. She put in my application with a request for an exception.
“Except she came back in a few moments to tell me my request for an exception had been denied, so I should change my answer to the question about lack of knowledge of fines. I pointed out that during the application process she had specifically warned against [lying] providing untruthful information, and asked for a supervisor.” So the bottom line is: “I had health insurance. I liked my health insurance.
“I wanted to keep my health insurance. I lost my health insurance. At least for now, I can’t get health insurance. And the government could fine me for it.” and this story is typical. There are many people that are in this whirlwind here of trying to follow the law and being told that they have blown it or dealing with reps that don’t follow through.
It’s typical, when you’re shuffled from bureaucracy to bureaucracy back and forth.