Another Obamacare success story totally falls apart

I honestly do feel sorry for this woman, but when something seems too good to be true – especially when it involves the federal government – it’s too good to be true. Jessica Sanford’s monthly premium when from $169, to $198, to $280, to $324 with a high deductible. Then she found out she did not qualify for a federal tax credit.

My guess is Sanford’s final premium ended up being higher than $324 since the system probably was telling her she did qualify for the tax credit and was subtracting that amount from the premium.

Again, this was one of the “success stories” President Obama mentioned on Oct. 21, three weeks after the launch of the program. You would think they completely review every single one of them, but they are not. Obama’s comments included…

I recently received a letter from a woman named Jessica Sanford in Washington State.  And here’s what she wrote:  “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.  I have had an ongoing tendinitis problem due to my line of work that I haven’t had treated.  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.”

Now, that is not untypical for a lot of folks like Jessica who have been struggling without health insurance.  That’s what the Affordable Care Act is all about.  The point is, the essence of the law — the health insurance that’s available to people — is working just fine.  In some cases, actually, it’s exceeding expectations — the prices are lower than we expected, the choice is greater than we expected.

From CNN.

… after Obama mentioned her story, Sanford started having problems. Sanford said she received another letter informing her the Washington state health exchange had miscalculated her eligibility for a tax credit.

In other words, her monthly insurance bill had shot up from $198 a month (she had initially said $169 a month to the White House but she switched plans) to $280 a month for the same “gold” plan offered by the state exchange. …

Last week, Sanford received another letter from the Washington state exchange, stating there had been another problem, a “system error” …

A cheaper “bronze” plan, Sanford said, came in at $324 per month, but also with a high deductible – also not in her budget.

“Your household has been determined eligible for a Federal Tax Credit of $0.00 to help cover the cost of your monthly health insurance premium …

The question remains. In every single example provided by the president, it is a journalist’s job to contact insurance companies and find out how much the plan would have cost if the subscriber purchased a policy last year. The policies were available!

Remember, on Oct. 20 we told you about the Heritage Foundation’s report on premium costs by state before and after the 2013 implementation of the legislation. They compared the non-group market to the Obamacare exchanges in almost every state for three different examples. Five states experienced a cost reduction, and almost every one of those states already had very costly mandates in place. It’s not less expensive.

I’m not saying this new system does not save anyone money, and it’s certainly true people who did not qualify for insurance before, may qualify now, but that will be a very small percentage of people. We could have easily helped those people through Medicare or Medicaid, but noooooo. We had to completely upend and overhaul the system that was working perfectly fine for more than 95 percent of people.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Dimsdale on November 20, 2013 at 10:13 am


  2. Lynn on November 21, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Unfortunately this woman blamed the state exchange and couldn’t conceive that it might have been Obama’s ?Or Democrat Congress’ fault.


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