November 19th, 2013
04:34 PM ET
8 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. SteveinLVNV

    Proof positive its not just the website thats broken... The entire ACA is totally FUBAR !!! Its like trying to tune up a demolished car! Just scrap out NOW before anymore TAXPAYER money is squandered! Next OWEbama will try for "single payer" healthcare... DO you want the government running our healthcare system??? That will be an even bigger disaster than the train wreck called O"Care!

    November 19, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. jack

    Informed today that my wife's insurance will triple at renewal. Lies Lies and more lies from this administration. Keep putting those "I love obamacare" stickers on your cars you sheep.

    November 19, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  3. Jablabla

    First rule of holes: stop digging.

    November 19, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. comradbill

    I love this story. She deserves it.

    November 19, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  5. Just

    The costs that the O advertises don't seem to be reality....but either is anything else he says.

    November 19, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  6. John

    45% of the public support the ACA. CNN is a hard left news site. Yet, nearly all the comments are very negative... Hmmm

    November 19, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. Fred Schmurtz

    This is the same story as a local guy here who was quoted in the paper,"I was all for ObamaCare but didn't realize that I personally was going to have to pay for it."

    It was fine with him as long as someone ELSE had to pay for it. It only became a problem when he discovered it was HIS money after learning what his insurance premium was going to be.

    November 19, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  8. scottrockwerk@yahoo.com

    Wow look how's pushing Granny off the cliff, and for some reason they don't look like Republicans to me!

    November 19, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    The problem is that health care costs too much in this country and until you fix that insurance is going to always be too expensive. There is little doubt that the President knew this but fixing health care costs wouldn't get him in the history books so we have this disaster to cope with.

    Until health care costs can be brought down Obamacare will cripple our economy in the long run.

    November 19, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    They should change the name to "Obamadoesntcare"

    November 19, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. brian

    I make a lot of money for working middle class, and I can't afford it.

    Anyone supporting this madness thinking they are getting a free ride needs to remember -

    Anything they receive from government is TAKEN FROM OTHER PEOPLE.

    Nothing is free. Don't take just because it's there. Don't be sold on "the extra cost is for better coverage" crap.
    Extra is used to pay for the uninsurables and those who are covered for free.

    November 19, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    This law was solely created for the lazy, broke, free loaders. Normal, hard working Americans have insurance. Welfare junkies DO NOT!

    November 19, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  13. Jetranger

    This whole OBAMACARE was designed with WALL STREET raking in Big Bucks as the insurance companies hoped to rake in Millions upon millions, it was never about YOU getting true affordable heathcare, that was a smoke screen, its was about Wall Street making millions as were finding out now ! and who helped write the Bill ? AIG Insurance who we bailed out, research it people ! the very crooks we bailed out during the Bail Out are the ones that helped write the disasterous bill AIG Insurance !

    November 19, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  14. Gary Mack

    Thank you President Obama for providing healthcare for my family...

    November 19, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  15. dudley

    One third of the 500 million dollar website, that has taken longer to build that it took the US to fight World War II, was way over quoted and is way over budget, is not even built.

    Incompetence + lies + fraud = Congressional investigation?

    November 19, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. b

    iimagine that, obama lied again.

    November 19, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  17. cbp

    First, Ms. Sanford should receive some assistance since the state made the mistake.

    It would be good to let the Affordable Care Act to move forward without all this hoopla. Things will even out and as has happened with other new programs the problems will be worked out.

    The only other answer is to give us all the same health insurance that our members of Congress have been receiving. After all we pay about 85% of the cost for them to have this insurance. They receive the best medical care possible. Can we hear from Congress about this idea?

    November 19, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. Kate Whenzsinski

    When I was a little boy, I never would have thought things would be like they is.

    November 19, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  19. Wayne2232

    Florida has over 40 options for insurance in the exchange. Just called Blue Cross and they signed me up for a plan in the exchange without going through the exchange. Republican option, and you have pre existing condition, keep your job till you die, Florida insurance companies turn down 10's of thousands of applicants under the old law. Sorry no insurance for you no matter how much money you have. Hospitals and med bills they would take everything you spend a lifetime building. I like the new law, Sue its cost more money. But in my republican state they are taxing us to death anyway, redlight camera's 300 a pop, 3 dollar tax on smokes, etc.

    A single payer sytem would have been better and not letting the insurance companies gauge us. Republicans would not let that happen. Most of the population will still have insurance with their jobs, this law was passed for the 20% of us in the US that do not have insurance. Maybe we should just all die so it does not cost you a extra dam cent. Get over it. The las will be very successful over time.

    November 19, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Demoncrats

    But....But....But....Obama said it was good for us............

    November 19, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    SirLordBaltimore You are incorrect. The GOP didn't vote for any part of this fiasco. It was shoved down our throats by the vote right down party lines in 2009 and then mishandled at the supreem court. Since the passing of the 4000 plus page bill, that had to be passed to find out what was in it, there has been an additional 20,000 pages of regulation passed, by executive order, in the implementation, enforcement, and regulation of this law.

    November 19, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. smc

    We need to end employer-provided healthcare. Then most Americans would realize that heath insurance costs "more money than I'm willing to pay" (as the person in this article says). I'm sure if I had to pay my family's $12k+/year for coverage out of pocket instead of the actual cost being hidden by my employer, it'd be more than I'd want to pay too.

    Then again, I also recognize that HEALTH is the single most important thing in LIFE. Health is expensive! Most Americans seem to think the most important things are driving costly cars, expensive homes, a $5 latte every day, a huge TV, etc.

    November 19, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  23. Robert N. constant

    Is is now known that for months now the Tea Party's richest supporters, The Koch Brothers, have been pumping millions of dollars through a broad number of "non profits" which have been actively working to sabotage the Affordable Care Act.
    There are various sources for this story, and the details are too specific and too numerous to include here. Google "Koch Brothers sabotage Affordable Care Act." and you will be able to get the details, Do not take my word for this. Go research it. Also, don't take the word ofthose who will immediately disclaim this. Research it! And the TRuth Shall Make You Free!"

    November 19, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  24. m123

    And why does this woman still support Obama, the serial liar?
    I thought we got rid of brain dead drones after Bush, but the left tries hard at looking completely out of touch.
    Both parties are pathetic, but Obama promised real change,
    What a liar

    November 19, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  25. Greg

    As I read these comments, I again noticed some one who supports the ACA, stating it is the law. The fact it is the law today has no bearing in the current issues. A law can be repelled on local, state and federal. So please do not use this type of argument. Here is a brief list of Laws, Acts, and Amendments which have been repealed. This is a brief list, which if expanded would take days.

    National Maximum Speed Law
    Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act
    Defense of Marriage Act
    Prohibition
    Jim Crow Laws
    Glass-Steagall law

    November 19, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
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