News / Health

    Obamacare Costs Still Too High for Many Americans

    Obamacare Costs Still Too High for Many Americansi
    X
    Brian Padden
    April 10, 2014 9:29 PM
    Now that more than seven million Americans have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, the number of uninsured in the United States has dropped. But there are still millions of low income people who don’t qualify for help, or can’t afford even the subsided health care coverage offered - or are just overwhelmed by this new complex system. VOA's Brian Padden reports.
    Brian Padden
    Now that more than seven million Americans have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, the number of uninsured in the United States has dropped. But there are still millions of low income people who don’t qualify for help, or can’t afford even the subsided health care coverage offered - or are just overwhelmed by this new complex system.

    There has been no drop off of patients who come to the Mission of Mercy mobile clinic when it comes to the city of Frederick, Maryland, near Washington, DC.  Mission of Mercy is a volunteer medical service provider funded by private donations.  The group travels throughout the region and treats anyone in need.
     
    Dr. Michael Sullivan says they serve the poor that Obamacare is not reaching.  

    “For areas that do not have entities, some organizations that are doing what we’re doing, trying to pick up all of these people that are falling through numerous cracks. I don’t know what they do other than end up in an emergency room for, you know, a quick fix," said Sullivan.

    The goal of the Affordable Care Act is to make health care coverage less expensive and more accesible. For the poor, it provides either free government coverage under a program called Medicaid or income-based subsides to purchase private health insurance.  

    But for many of the patients that Mission of Mercy sees, insurance through the Affordable Care Act is just not affordable.  Stevatte Bryant lost her job and insurance, but since her husband receives government disability benefits she does not qualify for Medicaid. The cheapest insurance she could get would cost $300 a month, which she cannot afford.

    “I’ve had insurance all my life. I’ve worked good jobs. I’ve just had some not so good luck here recently.  And you know I have to humble myself to come here, and it’s because I don’t have money," said Bryant.

    Dr. Sullivan says even with insurance, a hospital emergency room visit to treat Bryant’s back pain would likely cost close to $1,000.

    “They get an X-ray that they probably don’t need. And they probably get told we don’t inject things in the ER. Go see this orthopedic doctor. But then when they go to try to see the orthopedic doctor, they can’t get in unless they pay some cash up front," he said.

    Other patients here are undocumented immigrants who don’t qualify for any government help. Bianca Aleman from El Salvador is a legal resident but she missed the sign-up deadline for Obamacare because she says the process seemed too intimidating.

    “Because I didn’t have too much information. So that’s why I didn’t apply. But now I came here. They give me more information about [it]. So I’m going to try to apply for [it] next year," said Aleman.

    Mission of Mercy officials say they are expanding services to treat the millions of people who still cannot afford the high cost of health care in America.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora