Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 7:46 pm | Fair 64º


Letter to the Editor: Why I Can’t Vote for Capps

There are probably many reasons to deny Lois Capps your vote, but I have one overriding reason for hoping she is involuntarily retired from her job on Nov 4.

Ms. Capps told a boldface lie, not once but repeatedly, regarding my health insurance plan.

On Sept. 9, 2009, Ms. Capps spoke at the First United Methodist Church in Santa Barbara before an audience of doctors and constituents. Parodying the president of the United States, she reassured the crowd that if you like the plan you have now, you can keep it. If that wasn’t enough, she also felt it necessary to state, unequivocally, that the new Obamacare plans will lower your costs.

Fast forward to Oct. 1, 2013, when I received a letter from Blue Shield of California informing me that my insurance plan would be terminated on Dec. 31, 2013, and I would be transitioned to an Obamacare plan. Upon reading the letter, I was shocked to discover the premium for this new plan was taking me from $669 to $1,110 a month, a 67 percent increase from my current plan, and, most importantly, every doctor I had ever seen in Santa Barbara would not accept this new plan.

What I learned is that these Obamacare plans in the individual market are insanely expensive if you don’t qualify for subsidies, and if that wasn’t enough, the plans also have these very narrow networks of providers. The new Blue Shield plan did not include Sansum, as well as most of the other physician specialists in Santa Barbara. It also had a considerably narrower prescription drug formulary than my current plan. To add insult to injury, if you did not have group coverage with an employer, there were no other plans in the individual market with the extended provider network I had taken for granted all these years.

Although the Obamacare’s Blue Shield plans were deplorable, the only other company, Anthem Blue Cross, was only marginally better. Anthem had the same narrow networks, albeit more providers were included, and very high premiums, almost identical to the ones charged by Blue Shield. Moreover, I learned that not only were these new Obamacare plans 70 percent more expensive, but they had higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximum thresholds than my pre-Obamacare plan.

What is even more astonishing is that Ms. Capps knew that much of what she was saying was probably untrue. In October 2010, at Cottage Hospital before a roomful of doctors, she admitted that Obamacare is a “big gamble.” She then asked rhetorically about whether this new law would work. She answered her own question by declaring that “time will tell.”

Well, Ms. Capps, we now know how flawed this law really is. The hundreds of thousands of people in California who lost their insurance and the many thousands who can’t afford these skimpy Obamacare plans, and now must go to doctors not of their choosing, are the victims of your high-stakes gamble.

If there is any justice in this world, you will lose your job on Nov. 4 and will now be required to purchase an unsubsidized Obamacare plan, just like the constituents to which you lied.

Lou Segal
Santa Barbara

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