Fox News is hurting our country and the very people it relies on for viewership. Since the Affordable Care Act became law, the right-wing in this country has been trying to convince people not to get insurance, not to trust “Obamacare” and they have instilled an irrational fear of it in a large swath of the country.
This story is just one illustration of how Fox News and the misinformation they spew has real consequences.
Dean Angstadt fells trees for a living.
He’s a self-employed, self-sufficient logger who has cleared his own path for most of his 57 years, never expecting help from anyone. And even though he’d been uninsured since 2009, he especially wanted nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act.
“I don’t read what the Democrats have to say about it because I think they’re full of it,” he told his friend Bob Leinhauser, who suggested he sign up.
Before I get to the rest of the story, read this quote from a piece by Eric Wemple about Dean Angstadt’s experience…
Asked if Fox News had molded his view of Obamacare, Angstadt responded, “Yeah, yeah – they get people fired up. You know what, I really do have a different outlook on it.”
I went for many years without health insurance and can relate to Dean’s situation. My family has a history of heart problems, my dad and his brother both died of heart attacks in their early 40’s…so yeah, going without health insurance as I approached 40 years old was a bit scary. Thankfully, I took my current job at the university and began taking care of myself after I got insurance through my employer. More of Dean’s story…
In 2011, Angstadt had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted to help his ailing heart pump more efficiently. Not long after, the almost 6-foot, 285-pound man’s man was back in the woods, doing the Paul Bunyan thing.
But last summer, his health worsened again. It was taking him 10 minutes to catch his breath after felling a tree. By fall, he was winded after traveling the 50 feet between his house and truck.
“I knew that I was really sick,” said the Boyertown resident. “I figured the doctors were going to have to operate, so I tried to work as long as I could to save money for the surgery. But it got to the point where I couldn’t work.”
A friend had been trying to convince Dean to sign up for insurance through the exchanges, but he kept resisting, falling back on the propaganda that he had been fed – the bad information that was having a real impact on this mans life.
From time to time, Leinhauser would urge Angstadt to buy a plan through the ACA marketplace. And each time, Angstadt refused.
“We argued about it for months,” Angstadt said. “I didn’t trust this Obamacare. One of the big reasons is it sounded too good to be true.”
Leinhauser went to Angstadt’s house, and in less than an hour, the duo had done the application. A day later, Angstadt signed up for the Highmark Blue Cross silver PPO plan and paid his first monthly premium: $26.11.
“All of a sudden, I’m getting notification from Highmark, and I got my card, and it was actually all legitimate,” he said. “I could have done backflips if I was in better shape.”
Angstadt’s plan kicked in on March 1. It was just in time. Surgery couldn’t be put off any longer. On March 31, Angstadt had life-saving valve-replacement surgery.
“I probably would have ended up falling over dead” without the surgery, Angstadt said. “Not only did it save my life, it’s going to give me a better quality of life.”
Dean Angstadt will live to chop another tree.
But Fox News needs to die a quick and painful death.
H/T to Steve Benen at The Maddowblog.