An ad produced by the Department of Health and Human Services tells the story of Elena Miller-TerKuile, who is “pursuing her dream to farm” in Colorado thanks to Obamacare.
“The Marketplace is probably the only reason I have health insurance right now,” the Columbia University grad says in the ad. She said, “It’s been my dream for a while to come back to the farm and work with my dad.”
In a blog post at HHS Miller-TerKuile explains, “It was a hard dream to pursue without health insurance. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I was able to stay on my parents’ plan until I turned 26, but when I aged off the plan, I took a ‘town’ job that came with health benefits.”
Miller-TerKuile was previously employed as an advocate for healthcare in her position as a service learning coordinator at the San Luis Valley Health Project. The website says their mission is to teach youth to advocate “for increased access to health in their community.” In one activity promoted by the group, students play a board game that highlights all the benefits and none of the negative aspects of the ACA.
“Today, I’m proud to work alongside my family, as generations before me have done. Having health insurance has given me the freedom to decide what I want to do with my life. Why not find out where that freedom can take you?” Miller-TerKuile said in the HHS blog post.
“Emily,” another farmer featured in the ad, said that apprentices at the farm where she works in Hustontown, Pennsylvania, “are very well compensated” but her employers did not provide health insurance. “With the financial assistance I found the Silver-level plan with a $100 deductible.”
“Having the coverage I do allows me to do what I want to be doing, which is farming,” Emily says in the ad.
In 2012 House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) famously predicted that Americans soon would be hearing stories of “liberation” as people followed their dreams, free from worries about healthcare costs.
“This is what our founders had in mind–ever expanding opportunity for people,” Pelosi said at a Capitol Hill news conference in March of 2012.
“You want to be a photographer or a writer or a musician, whatever — an artist, you want to be self-employed, if you want to start a business, you want to change jobs, you no longer are prohibited from doing that because you can’t have access to health care, especially because you do not want to put your family at risk,” she said.
What the cheery “follow your dreams” ad doesn’t talk about (and what Pelosi doesn’t mention when she gushes about the “liberation” of the American worker) is that on the other end of all this dream business you find other hardworking taxpayers who are providing the “financial assistance” required for the Obamacare subsidies. Some other middle class family has to make do with less — driving a car with 100,000 miles, purchasing school clothes at the thrift store, skipping family vacations — so they can pay for Emily and Elena to follow their dreams of farming.
Even worse, those hardworking taxpayers on the other end of the “liberation” could become victims of the 30-hour work week or lose their jobs when their employers decide it’s too costly to pay for Obamacare’s health insurance mandates. Then those families will join the ranks of those “living the dream” on Medicaid. Just “what our founders had in mind,” according to Pelosi.