Here Are Some of the People Being Helped by Obamacare


Since I was just griping about the media not spending any time reporting about the people that Obamacare helps, I should offer some props to Abby Goodnough of the New York Times, who headed down to Kentucky to talk to some of the navigators who are responsible for assisting people who want to sign up for Obamacare. Here’s one story:

Samantha Davis, the clinic employee who helped [David] Elson apply, explained that based on his income of about $22,000 last year, he was not eligible for Medicaid but had qualified for a federal subsidy of $252 a month toward premium costs for a private plan. “It’s a pretty big one,” she said, reassuringly.

Through the exchange, Mr. Elson, 60, who has advanced diabetes and kidney disease, was offered a choice of 24 health plans, with premiums ranging from $92 to $501 a month after the subsidy. But if he felt elation or relief, he was too preoccupied to show it.

Bleeding at the back of his eyes, caused by a complication of diabetes, had blurred his vision. He had run out of insulin the previous week and had not refilled his prescriptions, which cost almost $500 a month, because a recent tax bill had depleted his bank account. He had an appointment with an eye specialist that afternoon, and the possibility of more debt was hanging heavily over him….“I’m hoping once I have insurance that I can sit down and figure out a budget and see if I have to bankrupt,” he said.

Plenty of people are being helped by Obamacare, and that number will grow dramatically as navigators reach more people; the website improves; and people start to make up their minds and sign up for a plan. For some people, it will mean the difference between getting treatment and going without. For others it will mean the difference between solvency and bankruptcy. And for still others it will be the first time they’ve ever had any health coverage at all.

Those are stories worth telling too.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.