The Widdershins

Archive for February 3rd, 2014


This is going to be a quick post as I guess I’m still rather in shock at the Super Bowl game.  Actually that’s not completely true.  I have something I want to share with you dear Widdershins, but I don’t have a lot to say about it, so here goes.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) was chosen to give the Republican reply to the President’s State of the Union speech and she decided to talk about how the awful Affordable Care Act just wasn’t cutting it and getting the job done.

Rodgers talked about getting a letter from “Bette in Spokane” who complained about the fact that her former health insurance policy was dropped.  She had hoped the President’s “health-care law” would save her some money but instead her premium for another plan was going to go up by $700 per month.  Rodgers conclusion about Bette’s situation was “This law is not working.”.

So in the hopes of getting a little more information than what the Congresswoman wanted to provide, a reporter tracked down “Bette from Spokane” and got some more information from her.  It turns out the woman is Bette Greiner and she and her husband have a small business. Washington State  Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler was also questioning things by the description of the situation that was given.  Kreidler said he could not understand how Greiner and her husband could not find something as good or better than what they had before without that much of an increase in costs.

Well a little bit of snooping and digging by reporters from The Spokesman Review did provide some clarification to the matter.

Bette and Don fell into the situation where their old policy did not meet the requirements needed for a health policy under the A.C.A. and was being dropped.  The Greiner’s had what could be called a catastrophic plan.  They had a $10,000 deductible, but hey!, they got 4 free visits a year to their doctor.  Now what they were offered in place of the discontinued plan was another plan by their same company, Asuris Northwest, which was indeed pricier at $1,200 per month.  And supposedly Asuris had a cheaper policy that was available to Bette and Don.  As David Wasson of the Spokesman Review said:

The carrier also offered a less expensive, $1,052-per-month option in lieu of their soon-to-be-discontinued catastrophic coverage plan. And, Grenier acknowledged the couple probably could have shaved another $100 a month off the replacement policy costs by purchasing them from the state’s online portal, the Health Plan Finder website, but they chose to avoid the government health exchanges.

And here comes the kicker, directly from Bette:

“I wouldn’t go on that Obama website at all,” said Grenier, 58, who lives in the Chattaroy area and owns a roofing company with her husband. “We liked our old plan. It worked for us, but they can’t offer it anymore.”

So instead, they have decided to go without health insurance.  And for that I call this on Bette and Don: bullshit-meter

Now Bette must know some people who have gone onto the website and who made purchases because she said:

“I know some people seem to be getting good deals, but we’re not,” Grenier said. “I have a friend – she and I fight about this stuff all the time – and she got a great deal: $129 a month.”

And Wash. state insurance commissioner added his thoughts:

Kreidler acknowledged his office, too, has been getting a lot of complaints from people who had health care plans that did not meet the minimum requirements of the new law. They received notices late last year from their companies saying those policies were being canceled and suggesting a new plan. Most paid the same or less, but some paid more.

“Most of those paid more because it was better coverage,” he said.

Now further, Washington State has their own exchange so Bette nor Don would have had to dealt the ups and downs of the Federal website.  And I’m really willing to bet they could have found a “navigator” to help them through the process of selecting a new plan.  And you see, therein is the problem:  some of these folks are so determined to not give this a chance they will cut their noses off to spite their faces.  The only ones Don and Bette are hurting by not trying to get a plan through the exchange are…Don and Bette. But I’m sure Don and Bette will rest better knowing they made a point.


We didn’t hear anything from our singing Widdershins last night so I’m going to put up the youtube of Renee Fleming singing the SSB at the Super Bowl game.  Share your thoughts with us if you care to.

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