Twitter under fire for removing photos of people who’ve lost health insurance
More than 3.5 million Americans have lost their individual health insurance plans as the Obamacare system nears full implementation, and an irreverent website and Twitter account is showing off their cancellation letters.
But the project, www.mycancellation.com, has had a rocky start, with Twitter freezing its account at least three times since it launched last week.
‘We were suspended yesterday late afternoon without a notice email,’ site co-creator Victoria Coley told The Daily Caller on Monday.
Coley is communications director at the conservative Independent Women’s Forum.
Heather Higgins, the group’s president, speculated that Twitter’s pushback was politically motivated.
This woman got a policy termination letter from CareFirst, a BlueCross BlueShield affiliate operating in Maryland and DC
Sticker shock: With his insurance premiums about to triple, this guy send his letter and his photo to the ‘MyCancellation’ website
‘Since we haven’t abused any of Twitter’s (seemingly quite subjective) standards,’ Higgins wrote on Ricochet.com, ‘either someone at Twitter objects to the real cost of these “liked insurance I wanted to keep” cancellations being given a human face, or there is an organized campaign by Obamacare-reality-deniers to spam Twitter with false claims of abuse.’
President Obama promised on at least 29 occasions, beginning in 2008, that Americans who liked their existing health insurance plan would be permitted to keep them.
That claim has more recently been widely called a misstatement, a lie, or ‘less than truthful,’ depending on which media outlet is evaluating it
Letters shown at Mycancellation.com come from more than 80 different insurance companies. Most of them specify that the policy cancellations are due to the Affordable Care Act.
Many include massive rate increases for customers who want to renew with new policies that comply with the law’s minimum standards.
This Colorado woman got an Obamacare-related health insurance cancellation letter in the mail. (Wasn’t the law supposed to increase the numbers of insured instead of paring them back?)
HealthNet, a major California insurer, sent this woman a letter warning that due to changes enforced by the Affordable Care Act, she’ll join the ranks of the uninsured on Jan. 1
Those standards include maternity care, even for individual policies held by men. Also on the list are substance abuse care and pediatric services, whether or not a subscriber has children or is addicted to drugs or alcohol.
One shows a policyholder forced to choose new coverage by December 15 in order to be insured on January 1. His monthly premium spiked to $1,198.45 per month, a 315 per cent increase.
Another received a letter saying his plan would no longer be offered ‘due to the Affordable Care Act.’ He and his wife are expecting a baby on December 30.
In order to get a new plan with the same monthly premium, he will have to accept an annual deductible of $10,000 instead of the $3,000 level he has now.
‘If our child is born just two days later,’ he writes, ‘our costs will go up $7,000 to have our child for no other reason than the “Affordable Care Act.”‘
The monthly premium for one plan described in a cancellation letter on the website would skyrocket from $212 to $1,356 per month. Another letter includes a hand-written note describing an 867 per cent price hike. A third tells a married couple that their health insurance premiums for 2014 will amount to more than $17,000. George U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson grilled Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner in a hearing Tuesday, telling her that ‘in southwest Georgia today premiums are more than doubling in many cases, and health insurance costs are going through the roof.’ ‘When you said that the [Obamacare] website was only the tip of the iceberg,’ he said, ‘you were right. Because you have tremendous problems and tremendous challenges.’ ‘But the biggest one of all are the premium increases to the people who can least afford it.’ Twitter didn’t respond to a request for comment about why @mycancellation has itself been cancelled three times.