“This is my daughter Jojo, United Health Care dropped her from my group in 2009 and gave us no reason.”
I saw this picture on Facebook and it broke my heart. Because it’s supposed to break my heart. Then I read the caption again and said to myself, “Self, something is fishy here”.
IS THIS A HOAX OR NOT?
If this was Snopes.com this story would be in the True and False category.
770 MILLION DOLLARS?
Does it really say that the CEO of United Health Group made 770 MILLION DOLLARS? I looked that up. The CEO, one Stephen J. Hemsley made $48,075,614 in 2011. That seems a little short of the claim made. So I thought, who makes this kind of money. Here’s the list. The Twelve Highest Paid People of 2009. Steve is not on the list.
North Carolina fining UHG would be a big story, you think? The best I found was that North Carolina did fine UHG in 2009 for not paying claims and incorrectly paying claims. The fine was nearly $800,000. Again, not quite the TEN MILLION mentioned in the picture.
WHO STARTED THIS STORY?
I’ve been Googling the shit out this story. The picture is everywhere and everyone is sad. The best I have found is that the picture was released by the stalwart of Media Fairness, Moveon.org on their Facebook page. “Now we’re getting somewhere”, I thought. I followed the link to…
If True, This Would Be The Most Heartless Case Of Corporate Cruelty We’ve Heard Of All Week
“We can’t speak to the truth of these allegations against Wells Fargo, but what we do know is that the timing of this man’s firing couldn’t have been more cruel.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Our wording (“If true”) is a nod to the fact that this is still pending investigation. We’ll update when there is more to report on.”
That’s Moveon’s editor, not me. Better yet, the article isn’t about Jojo. It’s about another kid who’s father was fired by EVIL Wells Fargo (and if you know me you know I know it’s EVIL). It’s a tragedy because the little girl died but it has nothing to do with the picture we’re talking about.
With a little more searching and a trip through Twitter I found this:
Why One Little Girl’s Story Will Have You Sprinting For The Voting Booth In November
WHO IS JOJO?
Okay, we found him. Dad is Joey Kirkman who lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. On his Twitter account, Joey brags about making the cover of Moveon.org. I would to. He was on The 99 Report telling his “Amazing Healthcare Story”. The 99 Report supports the 99% Occupy Movement.
Joey tells his story about his struggles with UHG denying coverage of treatment of Jojo’s Epilepsy. He posted his picture on Facebook and Moveon.org took it viral.
Any good lie has a grain of Truth. Yes Jojo Kirkman is a real girl. Yes she got treatment for her epilepsy and Dad says she’s doing great. Yes United Health Group tried to pull a fast one and deny her coverage. Don’t fuck with Dads with Daughters. Joey took on UHG and won.
The facts included with the picture are skewed if not outright untrue. We’re pretty sure Joey wrote the caption. At least he defends the salary part on his Facebook comments. So like we started this with, the picture is both True and False. It’s a real picture and a real story but the “facts” are not.
So in our humble opinion, Part one of Obamacare did work in this case and that’s great. But Obamacare is a monstrous bureaucratic mess that needs be scrapped and the parts that are good (like this one) be part of true health care reform.