White Center waits for word on Obamacare

Over the last few years, we've shared many personal stories about the impact of Obamacare. Some people saw their insurance rates skyrocket; others were able to get insurance for the first time.

SEATTLE - Handmade pupusas are the handiwork of 12 part time employees at the Salvadorean Bakery, a business that demonstrates the sweet side of the Affordable Care Act.

The federal healthcare law allows half of the employees to get insurance, including the owners.

“After I got insurance, I am more relaxed,” said Aminta Elgin, the bakery’s co-owner.

Four years ago, Elgin enrolled for insurance during a county-wide Obamacare campaign targeting underinsured communities. 20 percent of the White Center area at the time did not have insurance. Now that number is down 8 percent.

Under the ACA, Elgin's insurance premium is $500 a month, which is not cheap, but it makes her diabetes medicine more affordable.

“With insurance, it helps quite a bit,” she said.

Seattle-King County Public Health says the future is now uncertain for 200,000 people in King County who get insurance through the ACA. 150,000 are covered under the Medicaid expansion, and 50,000 get subsidized insurance through the Healthplanfinder.

‘People who have enrolled in health insurance in 2017 through the Affordable Care Act can feel secure that those contracts are set, and they will not lose coverage this year. But 2018 going forward is really unknown,” said Ingrid McDonald, policy director for public health.

“It is very scary,” said Elgin. “I'm hoping something good is going to come out of all of this for us.”

Elgin continues to serve a smile, trying to stay positive, hoping the new administration won't let her down.

“They can't be so inhuman to let us out,” she said, “with no coverage, no health insurance.”

Copyright 2017 KING


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