Charlene Dill, pictured on the GoFundMe
page created to pay for her funeral.
For another deep dive beyond the statistics of Obamacare and into the life-and-death side of it
, here's a heartbreaking story from ThinkProgress on the death part
Charlene Dill, a 32-year-old mother of three, collapsed and died on a stranger’s floor at the end of March. She was at an appointment to try to sell a vacuum cleaner, one of the three part-time jobs that she worked to try to make ends meet for her family. Her death was a result of a documented heart condition—and it could have been prevented.
Dill was uninsured, and she went years without the care she needed to address her chronic conditions because she couldn’t afford it.
Dill had three jobs—babysitting, cleaning houses, and selling vacuum cleaners. She made about $9,000 a year, which was too much to qualify for Medicaid in Florida. Sadly, that's too little to qualify to receive a subsidy to buy private insurance in the health exchange.
Charlene Dill is the new face of the Medicaid gap, caused by the refusal of Republican governors and legislators to accept free money from the federal government to provide coverage to more people. Dill is one of the roughly 750,000 low-income Floridians left out. She's one of the 17,000 people a recent Harvard study said would die prematurely because of Republicans' Medicaid refusal. She's one of as many as six deaths a day that could be prevented in Florida if Gov. Rick Scott and the legislature stopped playing politics.
Fifty-eight percent of Florida voters want the Medicaid expansion in their state. That percentage would likely increase, a lot, if Dill's story and the stories of the thousands unnecessary deaths in the state get the attention they deserve.
It could be enough to oust Gov. Rick Scott in November. That would be small comfort to Dill's young children, other family and friends, but it would be a small measure of justice.