November 19th, 2013
04:34 PM ET
9 months ago

Bad news for woman cited as Obamacare success story

Updated 2:53 p.m., 11/25/2013

(CNN) - Jessica Sanford, the Washington State woman cited by President Barack Obama as an Obamacare success story, received more bad news Tuesday. Officials with the state's health exchange checked on her case and said she will not qualify for assistance in buying insurance.

Sanford had written the White House last month after purchasing what she thought was affordable health care coverage on the Washington state insurance exchange.

Part of her message was read by the President at a Rose Garden event at the a White House on October 21.

Woman cited by President as Obamacare success story frustrated by sign up process

But in the days that followed that presidential shout-out, Sanford received letters from Washington state's insurance exchange, notifying her she did not qualify for a tax credit she was originally told she would be getting.

After looking into Sanford's matter, officials with the exchange admit they made a mistake calculating her benefits, along with those for thousands of other Washington state residents.

"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 CNN.

"Unfortunately, Jessica Sanford is one of the individuals who is affected by this tax credit miscalculation," he added.

A 48 year old self-employed court reporter and single mother of a teenage son with ADHD, Sanford said it's now unlikely she will be able to afford to buy insurance.

"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."

Sanford said after her story appeared on CNN she was contacted by a person who identified herself as a spokeswoman in the White House press office.

Sanford said the White House official offered to help "in any way."

Asked about Sanford's story White House press secretary Jay Carney said the administration regrets the mix-up.

"We are certainly sorry as we can be that Jessica is one of the folks that has been affected by this," Carney said.

Sanford, an Obama and health care reform supporter, said "yes, I do" when asked if changes need to be made to the Affordable Care Act to help people like her.

Sanford did receive a small measure of good news when she was told by an insurance broker her 15-year-old son is eligible for Medicaid. However, she said she will remain uninsured.


Filed under: Healthcare • President Obama
soundoff (345 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Absolutely hilarious that CNN goes so far as reposting articles from earlier in the day or yesterday or earlier in the week in order to recycle the nonstroversy. Milk that GOP/Teatroll nontroversy teat for all it's worth, CNN. Still thirsty? Have no fear...they'll invent a new for you tomorrow.

    November 19, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    Stop this GOP garbage, get moving. Fix the needed glitch. ACA is a Law.

    November 19, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    I'm sure the none existent Republican plan will help her.

    November 19, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. Namejaynee ayers

    Noone at the white house can help her or the millions of others that don't want and can't afford this "unaffordable" healthcare that was shoved down our throats by the Democrats!!!

    November 19, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. gopteen

    Funny that dems are jumping on CNN, a notoriously left leabing site, trying to say it's publishing nonsense. Check the polls guys, it's a story! Laws are changed and re-written all the time. It used to be law that women couldn't vote, we changed that and it was good right? Stop acting ignorant and just admit the ACA is working a lot less well than it was supposed to.

    November 19, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Its true

    Well if CNN is doing a story on it then it must be big news

    November 19, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. Scott

    Typical Americans: When someone points out very specifically where you are wrong, point the finger back in their direction. Obama is wrong here. I don't care WHAT side you're on. Either way he's wrong. Quit defending him just because you're a democrat. Sheeple are amazing.

    November 19, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. tom l

    @Sniffit,
    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. They're posting stories twice! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa it's rwnj's who are hacking the site! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa repubs are doing everything to sabotage the ACA. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa it's not Obamacare, there's no such thing! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa voter suppression. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Wow, you really have turned into the biggest whiner ever.

    November 19, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Ann C

    Can CNN become a news station again instead of being a 24/7 pundit. Everybody needs to chill out and let the glitches get fixed and this will be great in time. Rome wasn't built in a day and look at it now...was just there and mama mia it is beautiful.

    November 19, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. Data Driven

    Coz you're once
    Twice
    Three times, a tabloid ...

    Oh I know! While you're posting this one twice, why don't you post a FIFTH story about that poor man in Virginia, a-and, solicit our comments about it!

    LOL! You pathetic HACKS

    November 19, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Tom Riddle

    New information that the parts of the computer systems that pay for insurance and keep the records is not even STARTED yet! (Thanks to the FOX, for wihout thee we would know NOTHING of the problems from the lefties)

    November 19, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. kzooresident

    Of course she is stuck in a place where she can't afford health insurance and it's not going to get any better since the ACA does absolutely nothing to control health care costs. The ACA is all about creating dependency with an electorate, destroying the private health care system, (i.e. go to the next level of dependency) and paying for it all with an IOU to China written in your grand-children's handwriting.

    November 19, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. chicagoboyrn

    I lost my job about a year ago. I have high blood pressure and needed medications. No doctors would see me because i do not have a current insurance.
    I qualify for Medicaid starting January and will be able to see a doctor. I know i am not the only one on the same situation. Just fix the glitch/problem and lets move on. ACA is the best thing that ever happened in my situation.

    November 19, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. Tony

    I urge the state to let her keep the plan that she had bought originally on the state exchange. The mistake was made by the state exchange, not her. If we allow people who bought plans that were not compliant with the ACA to keep their plans, under the new Obamacare fix, we should make an exception for her too.

    November 19, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. Walter

    Bwahahahaha! Choke on it, simpleton! I hope you NEVER get coverage. Ever. Ever, ever, ever.

    November 19, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. c koffend

    yeah, the first of many. given enough time i am sure there will be millions of these stories.

    did you hear, they haven't even begun work on the final 30-40% of the healthcare.gov website. the portion that directs payemtns to the insurance companies to insure those that sign up and pay actually get covered. this reported by the lead IT guy for the ACA/Administration.

    they have until 12/15/2013 to get that program written, implemented and tested and proven (less than 1 month). Anybody buying coverage that goes into effect on January 1, 2014 has their first premium payment due to the insurance company by December 15, 2013 or their insurance does not go into effect on Jan. 1st!

    Get ready for months more of mistakes and decades of trillion dollar per years costs for this joke of a law.

    repeal and rewrite, the concept or theory is good, but the politicians that passed it knew nothing and passed awful legislation.

    November 19, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. darrell

    did you get dinner with that or did they just roll over and leave....Ms. Sanford is not alone in this I to am getting it put to me.......i"m dissable unemployed with no income i flied for SSI disability got turned down ...got turned down for Medicaid because i don't have medicare dissability....no job no work no insurance and now no home...Thanks SO MUCH President Obama for making me homeless and indegent your the best.....maybe i can get better help in mexico we seem to take better care of them here than they do there..

    November 19, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  18. betterdays

    And this is just a person who DIDN'T have insurance.; for her, anything is an improvement - she simply has to find an extra $400 per month somewhere, or pay $95 for an entire year of "nothing." Wait until these "improvemnts" hit all of the people who DO have insurance. Yep, harming ten people for every one helped. That's the Democrat way.

    November 19, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. texas

    Really people? The kins will eventually be worked out.

    November 19, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Walter

    ACA is a law? So is immigration enforcement, but Honey Badger don't enforce that. So was DOMA, but Honey Badger don't fix that.

    So was slavery, separate but equal, the illegality of abortion and a whole host of other laws, genius. But guess what? Shock, gasp. They got overturned.

    Just like what's going to happen with PPACA when the 80 million predicted by O's own folks start getting dropped from EMPLOYER PLANS next year and 2015.

    November 19, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Suz

    I think the insurance companies are more to blame than anyone. They are the ones denying coverage, dropping plans, etc. ACA is in fact the law and it states that anyone who needs health insurance will be able to get health insurance. Why is this so hard?

    November 19, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Heywood

    It's hilarious to watch the liberals squirm when their failed policies are put under a spotlight. "Nothing to see here, move along" is their mantra.

    November 19, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. troy moore

    oh yea, and more failures to come

    November 19, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. Bob

    Don't be stupid, the GOP has many plans and that includes allowing insurance companies to create large groups by crossing state lines, which would allow many people to get quality health insurance. But with the Affordable health care act making mandatory policies EVERYONES INSURANCE COST WILL GO UP AND EVERYONE WILL, by law, lose their current insurance, everyone !
    Cost goes up and quality goes down for EVERYONE. And that is no plan at all.

    November 19, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Mmmmm... Liberal tears. Delicious.

    November 19, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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