On Monday, as Healthcare.gov was being visited by nearly a million people, Speaker of the House John Bohner (R-OH) felt it was necessary to try to save face and do his best to push the narrative that ordinary people were getting punished by the Affordable Care Act. One such story that Boehner focused on was that of Cornelius Kelly, a Long Island resident that claims he was told that he would have to buy a separate health insurance policy for his 18-month-old baby. Here is Boehner’s tweet:
— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) December 2, 2013
The story was run in Sunday’s New York Post and Kelly found himself on Fox News on Monday detailing his awful, terrible ordeal having to deal with New York’s state exchange. Of course, as you have probably surmised, the story was complete hogwash. Kelly exaggerated for effect and did not reveal what really happened. Apparently, Kelly placed on his application that he had three children when in fact he has four. This caused a clerical error that had to be later fixed. Under the New York state exchange, no matter how many children you have, they can all be covered under one family plan and the cost cannot exceed 2.85 times an individual plan.
Now, Kelly claims he was told three different times that he’d have to buy a separate policy for his child. He also says that the problem was only fixed after he went to the New York Post with his story. Basically, he’s claiming he wouldn’t have gotten this issue fixed if he didn’t go public with it. However, it should be pointed out that Kelly ran for public office in 2011. He ran for a Suffolk County seat as a Conservative Party member and lost.
Could it be that this man decided to submit an erroneous application and then contact state officials after the fact asking why his other child wasn’t covered? When confronted with confusion around his false application he is able to solicit differing responses from people he calls. He then takes all of this to the Post and gives them a juicy story, without revealing that he submitted an incorrect application. He is then able to get on Fox News and be used as another Obamacare cautionary tale.
So, what we have is a wanna be conservative politician who desperately wanted attention and was able to get it by concocting a scenario in order to get the story he wanted to tell the press. And Boehner saw it as a way to spread the word that some poor man was told he couldn’t cover his baby under his health insurance plan. He can then point out once more how this is all a #Trainwreck. Instead, Boehner is left with egg all over his face. Again. Another attempt to make the ACA look awful completely spoiled by the truth.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).