November 19th, 2013
04:34 PM ET
5 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. James

    The Obama administration has lied to us about the whole Obamacare fiasco. Mr. President, You talk the talk but you have repeatedly failed to walk the walk.

    November 19, 2013 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  2. C.T.M.

    Why are people feeling sorry for this women? She voted for Obamacare twice! Found out her health care plan went from 169 (which she wrote to Obama about) to 390. This is like feeling bad for the driver that got drunk and decided to drive and then gets in an accident. She ignored warning signs ( those saying that health care cost would go up), she felt she was driving drunk fine (writing the president saying thank you for the 169 payment), then she crashed (finding out it would really cost her 390 dollars). If anything she should be investigated and possibility arrested for fraud (writing the President telling him that her plan was cheaper in the face of reality), in fact I think we should look into locking her up as a danger to herself and others. Good news if we lock her up, she can get FREE HEALTH CARE IN JAIL!!!

    November 19, 2013 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  3. Kenman

    Gee, a real story about a real person, right after that propaganda about the improving numbers of participants! Go figure! If only we had real journalists in the "mainstream" media to tell us the unbiased facts! You won't find them here, even if they throw them into a story occasionally, because it's so rare you won't be able to recognize them anymore!

    November 19, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  4. Calif US Patriot

    I suggest Hussein Obama be forced to sign up on the website for ObamaCare before anybody else. If its that 'secure' then let him prove it. Enter his name, social security number, etc.....and see if hackers penetrate it.

    November 19, 2013 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  5. Juanito

    Yet another success story for the Obama Experiment.

    He knows ACA is going to fail and this will serve as a prelude to the single payer system. It advances all the fun and wonderful benefits of socialized medicine and healthcare.

    The funny thing is, even though our system is broken, thousands of foreign nationals(excluding illegals), come to the US for advanced medical treatment. We don't see a migration of US citizens leaving the US for the superior healthcare being offered abroad.

    With ACA and the pending single payer system on its way, we will see incentives for the med industry subside, and with it, a drastic reduction in quality care across the entire healthcare system.

    Congratulations, everyone. Hope you all won't ever need to use healthcare much longer.

    November 19, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  6. McBob79

    I have to laugh about the Obamacare disaster and how the president is trying to spin it. He's lying now about how insurance will cost less than cell phone or cable. It's simply a lie and does nothing but deceive the pubic. By the way, if you can't afford medical care should you really be buying cable TV? The answer is yes for those who voted for Obama because they believe that this president will give them everything. Unreal deception from the deceiver in chief!

    November 19, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  7. lb309

    Note that before it was taken away, success in this case meant that she received a $452/month discount.
    $452 per month that you would have to pay for.

    November 19, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  8. Frank Justice

    Just another example of billionaire conglomerate insurance companies in collusion with political policy makers to create a deal that makes us HAVE to Have insurance that we cant afford that most wont use but for emergencies and the ones who need it the most wont qualify because they make just a dollar over Minimum wage but cant get groceries because It went to pay for the copays and prescriptions , hmmm I wonder if Fannie May ,Freddie Mac and JPMorgan all play golf with Johnson & Johnson who are betting on which insurance goats ,BC&BS or Humana will benefit the most in the subprime insurance scams ,Obama put together and forced down our throats with the fear of being penalized if we don't participate ,Yah Vote for me ,Ill make sure everybody has affordable insurance,what's the difference its all a way for the big bullies I mean business to empty our pockets and shake our confidence and trust of the People we put in place to make the best descisions for u or me , I say let us make that descision after all we ourselves know what we or our family needs thanks and after all there are no more houses to pilfer so they're rifling thru our Medicine cabinets. Stop It. .Its all about the money and nothing is ever free, somewhere there's a price to pay.. watch your back. .F .J

    November 19, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  9. Mark

    She'd be better off in a free market system. Now she has to pay a penalty since she can't afford Obamacare. That could be money spent to reduce the pain she's experiencing from the tendon problems, for example, by buying an OTC brace. The penalty money may have been spent on preventive measures to improve her health, so now, under Obamacare, its a trip to the emergency room instead of a trip to her primary care physician.

    November 19, 2013 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  10. David

    This woman wants more???

    I pay 15k for my employer based health insurance and I am in a risk pool with the grayest labor force in the history of mankind...and with those gray hairs 25 year old married kids being treated ass "children"......

    And yet I don't complain.

    It's called a social compact folks. LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT.

    November 19, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  11. Ellie

    Help me out here...how is any "tax" that panalizes you based on your age considered legal?????????????? Do 60 year olds pay 14% grocery tax and 23 year olds 3.9%??? NO that would be discrimination!! This law is DISCRIMINATORY!!!!!!!!

    November 19, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  12. Crampon

    Obama Bin Lying again.

    November 19, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  13. Tom

    So, the white house contacted her and another promised to help her "in any way." Is the white house going to help all those who "... make too much but I don't make enough" just like Sanford?

    November 19, 2013 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  14. nomad2003

    I feel it would be a lot easier if we listed everything Mr. Obama has not lied about.
    Even the boy used as a prop when signing the ACA, well as it happened, his mom failed to signup for medicaid which they qualified. Using the death of his mother, there was not fight with insurance company paying for medical bills, there was never a figiht over medical bills, as she was insured by employer based plan.

    Lied about being able to keep you policy, keep your doctor, benghazi was from a video, and squah all investigations about misuse of the IRS,

    and now faking the data on unemployement just before election...

    say any lie, yell out false acqusations, anything to get elected....

    there is no way we can believe anything Mr Obama and his dem party say.

    November 20, 2013 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  15. David

    I'm very upset with the new healthcare system, My wife and I only bring in $714.00 a month from my disability payments and we have a 10 month old daughter we support and yet The STATE of FLORIDA will not give her medicaid because we make to much money a month. After we pay all our bills we have to live on $100.00. My wife can't get medical services because the state wants us to pay 411.00 a month for her to have insurance and if we go to the er. They will give her the insurance but It wont tell us till 2 months later that she only had it for the month she went to the er. We are unable to get any treatment from health centers or mental health. She has a personality disorder and she is suppose to be on medication but we cant afford it nor can we afford the DR. We don't know what to do anymore, we are at our breaking point. She needs medical insurance bad but the state of FLORIDA is basically telling her to get pregnant to get insurance............ Im to the point that I will hire a lawyer just to get her insurance. We cant even afford the insurance through obamacare as its over $200 a month and cant even afford the copays.

    November 20, 2013 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  16. Brian

    Good, CNN. This is a start. See, it doesn't kill you to tell the truth about Obama even if it is negative. You are paid to be watchdogs, not lapdogs. Too bad it has taken years and lives for you to come around. Now, are you going to pick up on the doctored unemployment numbers 30 days before the election? Millions of us saw the "miraculous" drop in unemployment to below 8% and cried BS, but you and most of the rest of the media remained silent. Why? Were you naïve enough to be taken in, or just conspiring to protect Obama? Neither is very flattering, is it? DO YOUR JOB and report the lies and deceit and bait and switch and all the other dirty Chicago-style chicanery this admin is behind!!!

    November 20, 2013 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  17. cgs

    Obama seems to be nothing more than an actor reading a script. Without the script he is a terrible speaker. He has never run a business or governed a state and it shows. More of this and America will be bankrupt and ruined. I blame it on Obama voters. It was obvious from the beginning. How could so many people be fooled?

    November 20, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  18. Cry_Baby

    To call HusseinCare a train wreck is an insult to train wrecks!!!

    November 20, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  19. Anonymous

    As an er doc I see this every day. Keep in mind this is the same government that we want to take over healthcare for all Americans. Be afraid!

    November 20, 2013 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  20. jim

    willy100: You sound like those deluded people who want single-payer HC. They can't even handle the existing disaster. Why give them anything else?

    November 20, 2013 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  21. zimbodee

    Another feather in their caps?
    Oh, sorry, that should be egg on their faces :-)) One fudged thing after another. What a circus.

    We have endured Washington's inept inefficiency for far too long. End it now. Send ALL those stupid, lazy politicians back home, WITHOUT benefits. Give them the message.

    November 20, 2013 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  22. Siege

    Welcome to the club Jessica. :(

    November 20, 2013 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  23. Samrt ACA

    The Rich - those who can afford to pay for their health insurance and will not be affected by Obamacare

    The Poor - those cannot afford to pay for health coverage

    The Middle - those will loose their health coverage and end up paying a fine that will be used by Obama to cover the above group

    ?????????

    November 20, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  24. BDR

    So she makes too much to get a credit,were all aware there is a limit to the credit.
    What would she pay for insurance without the ACA(remember her son won't be included as he has a preexisting condition.

    November 20, 2013 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  25. lmori

    Is the white house going to help out every person who has been screwed over by obamacare "in any way" or just the ones that make them look bad in the news?

    November 20, 2013 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
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