Thank You, Mr. President, for the Insurance You Didn't Get Me!


Ah, the perils of politicking by personal anecdote:

A Des Moines woman who publicly thanked Barack Obama Tuesday for helping her obtain health insurance actually is receiving her coverage through a 25-year-old state program.

CeCe Ibson was chosen to share her personal story as an introduction to a Michelle Obama speech in Windsor Heights. Ibson talked about losing her health-insurance coverage when she lost her job as a lawyer two years ago. She bought private coverage for her two children, she said, but could not find it for herself. "No one would insure me because of my pre-existing conditions. No one. Until President Obama stood up for me and millions of Americans like me across Iowa and across the country," she said to cheers from the crowd of campaign volunteers.

In fact, Ibson's current coverage is provided by HIP Iowa, a state insurance program for people whose health problems make them ineligible for most commercial insurance. HIP Iowa was created in 1987, when Republican Terry Branstad was governor. Most of its subsidies come from fees paid by commercial insurers. Ibson did not qualify for a similar program created last year under President Obama's health-reform law. That program, called "HIP Iowa-Fed," offers significantly cheaper premiums than HIP Iowa, but it is open only to people who have gone without insurance for at least six months.

Link via the Twitter feed of "Baseball Crank" Dan McGlaughlin.

Meanwhile, the Texas engineer who Obama was going to find a job for remains unemployed. My April-issue column on anecdotal governance here.