November 19th, 2013
04:34 PM ET
9 years 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. David Hudsom

    There is a Republican plan, and the Dems killed it in '06.

    November 19, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. PopoGrigio

    It wouldn't be an issue if the administration had not crowed about it first. The fact that the first 3 posts are very politically one sided is telling. Paid posters maybe????Hmmmm.

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

    I work for a small business 4 employees and my husband works for another small business of about 26 employees. We have two children. Unfortunately his company is offering health insurance through a small group plan. This makes us ineligible for the market place or any subsidies. We were previously paying 565 a month with a maximum out of pocket of 5000. Now we are forced either pay 890 a month with a max out of pocket of 5000. Or 750 with a max out of pocket of 6400. Where is this money suppose to come from? The money we use for our daughter's college savings? Or our retirement? Both of which we have to have. We don't want our daughter's drowning in education debt and we know there will be no social security if we are fortunate to love that long. An extra 2000-4000 a year is significant to us. We are a young family trying live... to pay taxes and care for our children. I was a supporter of the ACA but at what expense?

    November 19, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. brian

    The problem is the insurance industry. If you read the fine print of your policy this should be obvious.

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

    Lets just start over from the beginning and make sure it works before it becomes a law...get the right computer savvy officials to program the plan and stop this kid-like blame game. Act like the professionals you profess to be.

    November 19, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. tony singer

    Is this a Washington STATE exchange glitch, or somewhere else?

    November 19, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. J in Denver


    You know, most often taking no action is a much better choice than blundering into things with poorly thought out action. The crony corporatism which has corrupted out country, spearheaded by both Democrat and Republican politicians, is the problem. Growing the size of a corrupt government isn't the solution. The Team Blue vs Team Red dynamic only serves to exacerbate the problem and distracts you from the solutions. Democrats are not all altruistic angels and Republicans aren't all evil hellspawn. Go on, put your big boy pants on and take a long hard honest look at both parties. President Obama has vastly expanded his personal wealth since taking office. Congresswoman Pelosi and Senator Feinstein have both financially profited from advanced knowledge of legislation regulating the credit card industry. The husband of Senator Feinstein is about to profit wildly from the commission of sales of surplus government real estate holdings... from a contract granting his company exclusive rights to broker the sales. Both parties use political hot button issues to rally the troops... and while you're out in the yard starting a riot with your neighbor they're in the china hutch pilfering the good silverware.

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

    What is clear and simple!!!!

    November 19, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. bill

    I now know one person who voted for him!!!

    November 19, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. rob

    Lol. 3 comments deflecting to gop. Ha. Hope and change.
    Fact is... she got the Dope and you brought the blame

    November 19, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. D's

    LOL....waaaaaaaaaaaaa....stoopid GOP....waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    November 19, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. Eagle08432

    Of course when Obama marches sycophants in front of the cameras in the rose garden and gives everyone a physicians coat they see no problem. Priceless! Hypocritical and priceless!

    November 19, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Big Al

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

    Are you suggesting CNN air/print only positive ACA news?

    November 19, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. James Meeker

    all losers

    November 19, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. NotTakingSides

    @Anonymous In the same way the current Democrat plan is not helping, and also going to cost her either way?

    November 19, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. Massachusetts

    Sooner or later there will be more stories like this. Sorry middle class!
    Laws can be amended or repealed. There's no "law" that says that bad laws should/could be kept forever.

    November 19, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. HUH?

    Bad news for all of America when a liar can con all the kool aid drinkers int o this ponzi scheme. My insurance was cancelled. Then I called to find out that I can get the same policy again for $350.00 more per month with a raised deductible to $7,500.00. 0bama has been in on it from the beginning. Bernie Madof would be proud. Hope your happy with a lying used car salesman as YOUR president.

    November 19, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. longfisch

    This proves CNN is just like Faux news, funded by the Koch brothers to further their hatred of America, if it wasn't for the incredible intelligent, non-biased people like Sniffit, Gurgyl, and Anonomous posting their enlightened opinions on every Poltical Ticker article I would stop reading CNN.

    November 19, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  19. Scubasteve

    Notice the hatred and vitriol being spewed forth to this woman, from the same side that used her as a billboard? Now that it isn't working in there favor they are more than happy to toss her to the curb to push there own ideals.

    They can not stand to see such a story about there little love child. Reality is getting rather harsh for them to hide from now.

    November 19, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. columbus

    "I've always been in this middle place. I make too much but I don't make enough."

    Why does it seem wrong that the poorer you are, the better your health care insurance?

    November 19, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. steve

    Wow, another lie and another mess. You dems own this big smelly turd 100% and you will pay the price in 2014 and 2016.

    November 19, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. Veritas

    Is there some magic number of lies that Obama needs to tell before you Liberals wake up and admit you screwed up? We're at about a dozen major one's right now. How many more? Seriously?

    November 19, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  23. DrEvill007

    Blame the Republicans for the incompetence of the Democrats? Check.

    November 19, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Keep pounding this ACA junk's the worst law ever! Obama is responsible for the biggest scam ever forced on America!

    November 19, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Its George Bush's fault, right Obama?

    November 19, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
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