The highly controversial Affordable Care Act made it’s debut Tuesday, October 1st in a not-so-desirable fashion. The enrollment has been riddled with wait times that make the DMV look like a fast food drive-thru and log in problems so severe that the majority of those trying to access the site just give up.
Stories have been pouring into news outlets, posted on social media sites, and by word of mouth on the frustrations and mega-glitches that have plagued the A.C.A. for the past two days. However, there was one story that appeared yesterday that caught my attention and it came from Illinois.
According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, one woman was able to get past the waiting and log in fiasco just by being patient.
Kathy Kanak, a 57-year-old resident of Libertyville, Illinois, part-time library employee, and marathon runner was able to get online and enroll herself and her husband Brant Kanak into the Illinois Health Exchange. What was the secret? Here are her words to the Tribune:
“I just kept trying,” she said. “Tell people to just keep trying and (they’ll) get in eventually.”
The article went on to say that she was happy with the options that were available, that her and her husband would be receiving a federal tax credit subsidy to offset the price (based on her age, family size, and income), have lower premiums than their current insurance and even be able to keep their current doctor.
This was good because according to the article, Brant Kanak is seeking full-time work. Sounds like everything President Obama promised.
This is great isn’t? I mean WOW! Obama care helped this woman and her family. You can even see how proud of this everyone is by the article and even Mrs. Kanak herself sent out a tweet to Healthcare.gov on Twitter stating her satisfaction.
.@HealthCareGov I’m enrolled!!! Just took patience. Works great once you are in. People at phone center answered right away & were so nice!
— Kathy Kanak (@KKirkscey) October 2, 2013
So far so good…She even got a reply from @HealthCareGov in return
— HealthCare.gov (@HealthCareGov) October 2, 2013
All of this looks just really great doesn’t it? I mean, even to get a reply back from the Verified Twitter Account of the Health Care.Gov seems mighty cool. However, Mrs. Kathy Kanak is the only one on that Twitter feed that has been “enrolled” and she is one out of only two individuals that have currently been called out by name, or Twitter handle if you like, since the debut of the Exchanges. I thought this a little curious.
Turns out, the article in the Tribune failed to mention a few minor details which beg a question or two about the employment status.
Brant Kanak, the husband to the celebrated enrollee Kathy Kanak, has quite the resume. According to his LinkedIn account Mr. Kanak current position is President at Synergistic Strategies, Inc. A company that according to his LinkedIn page is described as:
Interim Management, Strategy Development, and New Venture Advisory Services for the healthcare industry. Retained as CEO to establish Quanta Fluid Solutions as an independent medical device firm. Additional projects supporting multinationals, private equity firms, foreign governments, and new ventures.
The Synergistic Strategies, Inc “about page” reads like a resume, here is just a portion of it
Synergistic Strategies brings substantial experience leading strategy development at both large firms and small businesses. Our President headed strategy for Baxter International’s US Healthcare Division and drove the process which led to the division being spun from Baxter as Allegiance, a $5 billion, stand-alone firm. He also led strategy for Baxter’s Renal Division, a $2 billion entity, where he choreographed their first global strategic plan, fundamentally changed the strategic direction of a key business unit, and developed and implemented a process to prioritize and balance their overall R&D portfolio. Earlier he led strategy at Signode Industries, a $2 billion industrial components firm, as the firm was working through a leveraged buy-out.
Okay, so there’s that information.
It also happens to mention that Mr. Kanak is also on the Faculty of the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management where he teaches Innovation & Risk and has done so since 2010. Plus he is a “Mentor ” with the Chicago Innovation Mentors. Chicago Innovation Mentors (CIM) is a team mentoring program supporting biomedical opportunities from the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. CIM was founded by the three universities and the iBIO Institute.
Through digging a little deeper, I also happened to find the address for the Kanak’s in Libertyville, Illinois (which I will not post). According to Zillow.com as well as Trulia.com it is quite a house they have. Over 3,2oo sq ft with an approximate value over $500,000.00.
Now, this begs a question or two on that tax subsidy that was given by the Health Insurance Exchange. You would think a couple who have those assets would not need a tax break or even bother with Obamacare for that matter.
It is interesting given the extensive healthcare history and background of Mr. Kanak. He does seem to have a close connection to the Healthcare Industry as well as that pesky Chicago thing. Come to think of it, one might question the special notice given by the Chicago Tribune to this newly enrolled family. How did they find this one woman to tell her story?
Color me curious, but could this be a “fuzzy feel good” story coming out of Obama’s political hometown? I mean seriously, they would never use propaganda like this to sell something broken, would they?
UPDATE: As of October 6th, Mrs. Kathy Kanak had locked her twitter feed to private, Mr. Brant Kanak deleted his twitter account and shut down his website. With all eyes on the Health Care Exchanges, the many “glitches” and successful enrollments being few and far between, I am sure the Kanak’s decided they didn’t want the attention any longer. I can’t blame them.
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