Wendy and Rich, a white working-class couple from Crystal River, Florida, signed up for Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”) coverage last year primarily because they wanted to avoid paying the penalty. “We weren’t against it,” Wendy recalls. “We just thought we were healthy.”
Now at 61, Rich can’t work anymore. A few months after they enrolled for coverage, his kidneys failed. Wendy, who used to work in food service, only works 20 hours a week since her operation to remove a bone spur. She is 56.