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Cancer Patient in Koch Brothers Ad Defends Claims: ‘Obamacare Turned My Life into Nightmare’

“... People are attacking me and calling me a liar,” Julie Boonstra says, defending herself after facts were questioned in ad bashing Michigan Congressman Gary Peters for voting for Obamacare.

In a Detroit News letter, Julie Boonstra defends claims she made in a Koch Brothers-backed ad that Obamacare is making her cancer treatments unaffordable. (Screenshot: Americans for Prosperity ad via YouTube)
In a Detroit News letter, Julie Boonstra defends claims she made in a Koch Brothers-backed ad that Obamacare is making her cancer treatments unaffordable. (Screenshot: Americans for Prosperity ad via YouTube)

Julie Boonstra –  the Dexter, MI, cancer patient whose claims she might die because Obamacare made her prescriptions unaffordable landed her in a political firestorm after independent fact-checkers disputed the Koch Brothers-backed ad – says she’s not lying.

Boonstra is defending herself in a letter to the editor published Thursday by The Detroit News. (Excerpts below.)

The ad she’s featured in targets 14th District Democratic Congressman Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township, who voted for Obamacare and is now running for an open U.S. Senate seat, and is part of a $30 million ad buy by Americans for Prosperity, backed by billionaires Charles and David Koch. 

The ad is part of the super-PAC’s  strategy to make the Affordable Care Act an issue that can be used against Democrats in competitive Senate races.

Independent fact checkers who researched the claims determined that Boonstra would potentially save about $1,000 a year in insurance costs under Obamacare.

An excerpt from the letter follows:

“I recently told my story in Michigan with the help of a group called Americans for Prosperity. Now people are attacking me and calling me a liar. Some believe that I can afford the insurance because the annual premiums will be lower.

“Those people choose to ignore the problems inherent with high out-of-pocket limits and prescriptions that aren’t covered for a person like me.

“My new plan could mean wildly fluctuating and front-loaded costs in the first few months of the year. I chose my old plan — the one that Obamacare canceled — specifically so I could budget for the same monthly costs with certainty.

“I have reached out to Congressman Gary Peters for help since he is running for a Senate seat for Michigan.

“He refuses to speak to me.

“Instead of trying to help me, Congressman Peters tried to silence me. His Washington attorneys have attempted to intimidate television stations airing my story.

“I actually went to his house when I learned of this to ask him to help me navigate the Obamacare law, a law he helped pass. He didn’t answer, so I left him a note asking him to contact me.

“Then Sen. Harry Reid said — on the U.S. Senate floor, no less — that my story is a lie.

I never asked for this. Obamacare has turned my life into a nightmare.”


Tom Thumb March 20, 2014 at 10:41 AM
Linda, reread your comments and please tell me what has changed under the ACA? You guys like to talk like the the ACA put the insurance companies in their place....it did not. It was written by Democrats in support of the insurance industry. You don't know what happened. Thee is no reform, there is no savior from the big bad insurance wolves. A deal was made. You give us no pre existing conditions and no lifetime limits and we will give you every American. That is it. Under the ACA you still sign up with the insurance company, maybe the Government...AKA you and me, pay a piece of it but trust me the price will rise next year, the year after and the year after. Who do you call if you have a problem, congress? No the insurance company. This was a deal with the devil not putting them in their place.
Mark Bottenhorn March 20, 2014 at 11:05 AM
The dumb American people were duped again and don't even know it.
Christine Orman March 20, 2014 at 01:24 PM
@Tom Thumb, thank you for addressing that. After the facts of what obamacare{aka ACA} were coming to light it occurred to me that who was benefiting most from obamacare was the insurance companies. Because now there is a federal law forcing every single American person to have to purchase their{insurance companies} product. It just wasn't making sense to me that no one else was seeing this. I just kept hearing that we needed reform so badly because these big bad insurance have been doing such horrible things like denying coverage because of a preexisting condition. Which I thought to be odd because I've had a preexisting condition since I was 3 and I've had over a dozen different insurance companies, never denied, and I know of so many others with preexisting conditions and they've never been denied either. Not saying it's 'never' happened, but I wouldn't say it was ever a big problem. Some people act like you have to have insurance in order to get medical care/treatment. I've known a handful of people who did not have medical insurance. My adult child was no longer covered on our police when they turned 19. That was 10yrs ago. 10 yrs now with no health insurance. When they needed to see our doctor. Doctor charged less because they had no insurance. The one time they needed medicine doctor had free samples, most all doctors offices do, so no cost there. There is a free clinic for the working people who do not have health insurance here in Wyandotte, all doctors , staff are volunteers. The one time my child was washing dishes, glass broke, finger was cut. Child went to urgent clinic nearby, was seen by doctor, cut was cleaned,received a stitch, and tentinus shot...total cost ... $69. Child doesn't smoke, drink heavily, lives a healthy lifestyle. In 10yrs number of times needing doctor/medical care less than 5. Those hundreds, now thousands of dollars that would have been wasted paying to an insurance company every month has been saved should there be an unexpected medical issue resulting in more care. But that choice has been taken away now. Who benefits.....insurance company. I would be curious though. How many of these politicians that pushed for and voted for obamacare have a personal interest in an of the insurance companies. Also, I've noticed, it was first boasted as 'obamacare' ... now all of a sudden every single pro obama person will only refer to it as ACA. Yes that is what it is, but sometimes people use either or, with exception to obamalovers ;-)
K. Scott March 20, 2014 at 09:49 PM
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." Albert Einstein We have real problems in this country, and we need serious people to work through them, or we will have political unrest unseen since the inner-city riots in the 60s. The Koch brothers have had their 15 minutes, but their time is up, and the 2016 election promises to send a message from the hinterlands that "the times have already changed." The kind of America the Koch twins envision is not a democracy, nor a balanced capitalist system. Do the Koch twins think they are Christians? What would Pope Francis think of their past actions, and future plans? I would hazard a guess that Pope Francis would opine: "Greed is not good...not now, not ever." So good people, eat what Americans for Prosperity is feeding you, it seems to fill your souls well enough.
Tom Thumb March 21, 2014 at 10:11 AM
You talk a lot about the Koch brothers but nothing about Peter Lewis? Same amount of money, same ads but Dem. side. Plus what of the Government spending a billion dollars on their own ad campaign that are just spreading the lies of the ACA? Please K, speak to the issues not the noise because both sides are equal in that stuff.

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