President Obama’s top communications strategist sparked outrage on Monday after tweeting a blog entry that belittled a cancer sufferer’s concerns about losing her doctor and insurance because of Obamacare.
Edie Littlefield Sundby, a California woman with stage-4 gallbladder cancer, wrote a powerful Wall Street Journal op-ed that she will soon lose her medical insurance – and access to her life-saving oncologists – as a direct result of the Affordable Care Act.
But Think Progress, a far-left blog, countered with an article claiming that her insurance company, United Healthcare, left her in the lurch because it chose to abandon the individual insurance market for financial reasons.
Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, tweeted a link to that story, titled ‘The Real Reason That The Cancer Patient Writing In Today’s Wall Street Journal Lost Her Insurance.’
The impact on Twitter was both fast and furious, since Pfeiffer’s Twitter feed is an ‘official’ White House account, meaning that it speaks for the administration.
Sundby, who has battled her cancer since 2007, had explained that she is ‘one of the losers’ in the president’s signature health insurance overhaul.
Cancer specialists at Stanford have ‘kept me alive,’ she wrote, ‘but UCSD has provided emergency and local treatment support during wretched periods of this disease, and it is where my primary-care doctors are.’
Both hospitals, and the doctors who practice in them, are covered by her current PPO but Covered California, the state’s Obamacare insurance exchange, doesn’t offer a single plan that both Stanford and UCSD’s medical centers will accept.
And, citing unfair tax breaks its competitors enjoy, United Healthcare has said it plans to pull out of California’s individual insurance market entirely, leaving Sundy with few options.