Woman touted as Obamacare success story learns she can’t afford coverage
From the White House rose garden late last month, Pres. Obama read a letter he received from Jessica Sanford, a Washington state single mom who had recently found out that the president’s hallmark health care plan would cost her a fraction of what she previously paid to cover herself and her son.
“I am a single mom. No child support, self-employed and I haven't had insurance for 15 years because it's too expensive. My son has ADHD and requires regular doctor visits and his meds alone cost $250 per month,” Obama quoted from Sanford’s note. “Now finally, we get to have coverage because of the ACA for $169 per month. I was crying the other day when I signed up, so much stress lifted.”
Unfortunately for Sanford, that stress-free experience was rather short-lived. It has now been reported that shortly after she sent that letter to the president, Sanford was informed that a glitch on the Washington state exchange and enrollment website caused the cost of coverage to be grossly under-estimated. According to CNN, Sanford was one of thousands of Washingtonians who was later told that the fault website miscalculated her cost and erroneously informed her that she qualified for a hefty tax credit.
"The Exchange would like to sincerely apologize to Jessica Sanford and all those affected in Washington State by this error," Washington Health Benefit Exchange CEO Richard Onizuka said in a statement provided to the network. "Unfortunately, Jessica Sanford is one of the individuals who is affected by this tax credit miscalculation.”
Sanford reached out to CNN and said she likely won’t be signing-up for healthcare under the ACA because the actual cost of coverage for her and her son would be nowhere near as low as she was originally told.
"I'm not getting insurance unless I pay more money than I'm willing to pay," Sanford said. “I've always been in this middle place. I make too much but I don't make enough."
In response, White House press secretary Jay Carney said, "We are certainly sorry as we can be that Jessica is one of the folks that has been affected by this.” As weeks’ worth of news articles have indicated, however, Ms. Sanford is far from the only American upset with the ACA. Not only were Washington state residents who attempted to buy coverage during the first 23 days of the website’s launch offered inaccurate figures, but glitches on the national website have made the president’s hallmark plan the laughing stock of his administration so far.
According to a ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Tuesday this week, Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of the act’s implementation by roughly 2-to-1, and a majority of the public — 57 percent —opposes the law overall.