Virginia Cancer Patient Debra Fishericks Loses Employer Health Insurance Under ACA

| by Jonathan Wolfe

Virginia woman and kidney cancer patient Debra Fishericks is the latest of many ill Americans to report that the Affordable Care Act will cause her to lose her insurance policy.

Fishericks is employed by Atkinson Realty in Virginia Beach. For more than a decade, she was covered under her employer’s health insurance plan. But Atkinson Realty owner Betsy Atkinson explained to WDBJ-TV that her company’s policy has been canceled because it doesn’t meet the requirements of the ACA.

“We were happy, we had great insurance. We had continuing care for our employees,” Atkinson said. “On June the 30th, 2014, I will probably not be offering company insurance for my employees. I just can’t afford it.”

Fishericks has turned to the state-run healthcare exchange in search of a new insurance policy, but claims all of the available options are way out of her budget range.

“They just go up higher and higher when there is a pre-existing [condition],” Fishericks said. “There’s so many unanswered questions.”

Fishericks story is a familiar one at this point. Regardless of political perceptive, everyone should be able to agree that the ACA rollout has been disastrous. But for every story like Fisherick’s — which there are many of, to be sure — there seems to be an equal and opposite success story.

Just last week, Covered California Director Peter Lee reported that his state’s healthcare exchange has successfully signed up more than 60,000 people for new private insurance policies. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Star reports that state run exchange websites across the country are experiencing plenty of success — unlike the infamously glitch-ridden federal ACA site.

The ultimate test of the ACA will be in, say, 6 to 10 years from now, once the legislature’s transitional dust has settled. Will the number of uninsured Americans be lower than it is now? Will American’s find their healthcare more affordable? We’ll have to wait and see. 

Sources: The Blaze, The Kansas City Star, The New Yorker