Affordable Care Act, Obamacare — May 19, 2014

Pharmacy technician sees Obamacare working every day


Cost savings and the newly insured show how the ACA is changing people’s lives.

If you want to see the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at work, stand behind a pharmacy counter. That’s what Desirae Clayborn does, and she’s seen nothing but positive experiences.

Clayborn is a pharmacy technician and is studying to be a pharmacist. She admits that when the ACA was first being introduced, customers were “freaking out” despite the pharmacy’s efforts to educate them.

“Before it even started, people just assumed it would be expensive. They were so terrified about the change,” she says. But Clayborn has seen their assumptions proven wrong.

I haven’t noticed anything negative about people changing their insurance plans. The medications people were taking before are still covered, at close to the same amount or even less. Some people come in expecting to pay and find there’s no co-pay. Everyone seems incredibly satisfied with how their plans are working.

One customer’s story was especially meaningful for Clayborn. A woman in her 40s came into the pharmacy with tears in her eyes, because she was so excited to be filling a prescription for the first time in her adult life.

After proudly handing me her insurance information, she made it a point to tell me that she had just returned from a physical — something that she hadn’t had the opportunity to do since she was a child. The grateful look in this woman’s eyes is something I will never forget.

She was in tears because she could finally be treated for chronic conditions she didn’t even know she had. If she hadn’t been to the doctor’s office, she never would have known. The conditions weren’t life-threatening yet, but the Affordable Care Act could have potentially added years to her life.

The customer’s co-pay was less than $10, which Clayborn says the woman was “ecstatic” about.

Clayborn knows personally how expensive healthcare can be. An accident left her brother, Drew, a quadriplegic. His hospital bill for just the first four weeks was $1 million. Four and a half years later, he’s in college and living a full life from his wheelchair, but still requires around-the-clock care.

“He’s on a ventilator and needs nursing care, but my family doesn’t have to pay $20 an hour for that because it’s covered by insurance,” Clayborn says. “The bills keep coming. I don’t know what we would have done without insurance.”

But Clayborn also sees the bigger picture of why the ACA is important to every American.

In a wealthy country like America, it’s astounding to me that there are people who have never been to the doctor, who can’t afford care. Everyone should have equal access to the necessities, including healthcare.

Some people are only thinking about how the ACA impacts them individually. But this isn’t just about one person. It’s something that’s good for the whole country. People get so caught up in the politics that they lose sight of what’s really important.

The Affordable Care Act isn’t a political thing. It’s a people thing.

[Photo Credit: Selessa Holmberg | Selessa Studio]

  • judyms9

    I love the upbeat accounts of the ACA helping Americans. Sadly, there are many on the rightwing who are still on their knees praying for the ACA to fail and cast the uninsured back into the abyss. It’s their idea of American exceptionalism.

    • Amy Lynn Smith

      Thank you! I would bet the bank there are more positive stories than negative ones, and I’m going to keep pushing them out there.

    • dj j

      what bothers me is that the right wing and their billions are speaking much louder. They are hoping people wont find out the truth until “after’ the election. Shame on mainstream media for not exposing the total LIES being spread

  • Denise

    I never understood why republicans thought the cost of healthcare would increase. whenever you have competor enteri g a field, the cost DECREASES, that’s a given!!

    when you have fewer competitors in any given field, cost INCREASES!! don’t people remenber learning this in scool? math? economics? of course cost is going down, the insurance industry has a new competitor. the government, and they need to compete, so prices drop.

    americans who watch fox news and listen to limbaugh, and you know who you are, give it a rest already!! try using your brains again!

    • Amy Lynn Smith

      Bingo, Denise. Increasing competition in the private marketplace is a huge element of the ACA.

    • dosx

      Hey moron. How much is your premium vs. deductible under Obamacare? What was it before? Doesn’t take much to figure it out you ignorant Alinsky “useful idiot”. Maybe this fraud of a president needs to worry more about our vets instead of the plight of the Muslim Brotherhoood.

  • Michiganmitch

    Gary Peters and other pro-ACA Dems could use this young lady in ads if she is willing. Our answer to Julie Boonstra and Shannon Whendt.

    • Jimmy Lossia

      We think alike, I have already forwarded this article to both the Peter’s and Obama campaign, but it certainly won’t hurt for others to do the same.

  • dosx

    Do any of these idiots look at the actual numbers? Oh wait WE DONT HAVE THEM. Well we do know now thanks to Judicial Watch that Obamacare had 2 whole signups on Oct 1st. Remembered how we were lied to? Yes, I don’t expect Alinsky “useful idiot” drone Democrats to wake up. They will just cling to these so-called signs that Obamacare is working. Nevermind what it is actually doing. Keep running on Obamacare success – the obvious truth is that it is failure at all levels. Who was fired, held accountable or brought to the front to take responsibility for every aspect of this mess? Has this administration taken ANY responsibility for any of its fruad, lies, etc.? Keep on dreaming drones and DO PLEASE RUN on Obamacare.

    • Brainwrap

      Actually, we have “the numbers” quite in depth:

      Thanks for playing.

      • Oh, SNAP! Heh, heh. Thanks again, Charles.

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