Landry responds to Healthcare Reform - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Landry responds to Healthcare Reform

"I'm just looking for answers," said nurse Kristi Whisenhunt. "I'm not looking for people to pay my way through anything. I just want to save my life. I mean I have a ten year old and a 20 year old, and it's the hardest thing."

Whisenhunt was diagnosed with a tumor in her eye less than a month ago. Her insurance company is calling her tumor a "pre-existing" condition and refusing to cover her expenses.

The Lion's Club of Lake Charles and New Orleans stepped up to get Whisenhunt help, and thanks to former Governor Kathleen Blanco, who also had an eye condition, Whisenhunt is currently in Memphis receiving treatment

Whisenhunt says her condition would be covered under the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare reform that both area US representatives, Charles Boustany and Jeff Landry, voted against.

"What she's caught up in is what all of America is caught up in," said Rep. Landry.

Rep. Landry says Whisenhunt represents thousands of people across the country falling through the cracks of health insurance coverage

"At the end of the day, one of the big things we need in this country is health insurance reform," said Rep. Landry.

But Rep. Landry says not just any type of insurance reform will work.

"What we need is a patient-centered reform," said Rep. Landry. "We need to make sure that insurance companies clearly spell out what is and is not covered instead of using all these legalese."

He also challenges the justice system to step up when the coverage promised to a patient is not given.

"The legal system needs to hold those insurance companies responsible when they don't," said Rep. Landry.

But what about the Affordable Care Act? Whisenhunt says her condition would be covered under the new healthcare reform, but Rep. Landry warns people like her to think again.

"She's probably half right, in that yes, in a legal sense, her preexisting condition would give her the opportunity to participate in the government's program, but there's going to be a bureaucrat between her and her doctor," said Rep. Landry. "Suppose that bureaucrat determines, you know what, she's at an age where the treatment they want to give her is too expensive. That's the problem."

Representative Landry says the same scenario could be happening to him, as he rejected the insurance coverage offered to him by Congress.

"I could easily right now be as susceptible as Kristi is," said Rep. Landry. "But I'm up here trying to make sure neither I nor her have to go through these types of things again,"

KPLC's Holly carter made several attempts to contact Representative Charles Boustany's office for his response, but calls, messages and emails were not returned.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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