The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 8, 2013

ObamaCare hits Ottumwa

Editors note: Though the Affordable Care Act has been addressed on a national level, people in and around Wapello County have serious concerns. The Ottumwa Courier will continue to share periodic, localized articles as the story develops.

OTTUMWA — Next time Barack Obama visits Ottumwa, he might have some explaining to do.

"For the first time in my life, I feel ashamed of my government," said Allison Kale of Ottumwa.

Kale works full time, though she makes just enough to pay her bills. She's had some serious health problems, but her salary level qualified her for the IowaCare program, which provides health care for low-income Iowans.

Though not a perfect system (Ottumwa residents need to go to Iowa City for any doctor visit), Kale said she appreciated the program, which was fine for her needs. Upcoming changes mean that IowaCare ends Dec. 31, she said.

"I received notification, 'You will need to apply for other coverage.' So they told me to go the Affordable Care Act website and get my own insurance. I've got on the website. I started at 3 p.m. and they kept on saying they had technical difficulties. By 11 p.m. I had the quote."

She was hoping it was affordable.

"The cheapest thing I was quoted was $279 per month, with a $6,300 deductible," Kale said. "Then they pay half."

She wasn't happy. But the rule is, you must apply no later than Dec. 15.

"My money is gone at the end of the month," she said, "where am I supposed to get that?"

She's started trying to figure out what she's going to cut each month.

"I just sat at the computer and cried. I could not believe what they quoted me. It's not 'affordable' by any stretch of the imagination."

Troy Morgan had better luck — eventually.

Text Only
Local News
  • Pedersen: Spec. Ed. students should count ELDON — If you're going to publish graduation rates, stop excluding some children who are doing well. "In some ways, I think it's a little upsetting to the parents of a child who has a physical handicap or is otherwise [in special education], that th

    April 23, 2014

  • 0424 OTT Pennsylvania construction B&W photo -M -T Penn Ave. construction begins Thursday OTTUMWA — Motorists are advised that Pennsylvania Avenue will be closing for Stage 1 of the Pennsylvania Avenue Reconstruction and Widening Project on Thursday. Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed from just downhill from the intersection with Jefferso

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0424 OTT Lottery addiction graphic -T -L -M Hoping for riche$ — Part 3

    OTTUMWA — At first, George bought a lottery ticket once or twice a week. Nothing big. Spent $1 or $2 at a time. As the big jackpots rolled around, he’d purchase a few more tickets. No big deal, he thought. Soon, playing the lottery became his obsessi

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Interpreter bill approved in kidnapping case OTTUMWA — A filing in an Ottumwa case illustrates one of the basic tenets of the American legal system and its costs. Adem Anota is charged with one count of kidnapping. The charge is a Class A felony, among the most serious and one of only a few cri

    April 23, 2014

  • Van Buren OKs teacher pay hike KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren Community School Board ratified a master contract with its certified staff members recently. Superintendent Dr. Pam Ewell, the Van Buren Education Association and the district reached a settlement which calls for increasing

    April 23, 2014

  • 'Ride With the Clowns' bike event full of fun OTTUMWA — This bike ride is a joke. No, seriously. The 10th annual "Ride With the Clowns" spring tune-up is set for Saturday, May 3, and this fun ride is sponsored by the Ottumwa Shrine Club Clown Unit. "It draws a regular crowd," said Mark Merringer

    April 23, 2014

  • Youth playing with guns panic Fairfield residents FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield Police Department received two calls Tuesday from concerned citizens reporting kids with guns in the vicinity of both elementary schools. In both incidents, the guns were actually pellet guns but looked real. According to a

    April 23, 2014

  • The most fun you ever had

    OTTUMWA — Not every child's idea will be possible — but every idea was recorded. "Kaboom" project manager Brenna Hull of the nonprofit group's San Francisco office was in Ottumwa Tuesday. She asked students at the Ottumwa school district what they'd like to see in a playground.

    April 22, 2014

  • 0423 OTT Recycle center color photo 2 -T -M Where every day is Earth Day

    OTTUMWA — Putting cans in the correct bin, saving electricity and adjusting the thermostat are not new concepts to the Ottumwa/Wapello Recycling Center staff. "We try to practice what we preach," said Janice Bain,

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0423 OTT lottery retailers graph -T -M Hoping for riche$ — Part 2

    OTTUMWA — We’ve all heard countless stories of lottery winners and losers. The winners, some of whom hold down multiple jobs, have modest dreams for now. One wants to buy a new home or car, another wants to pay of their debts or give to charity and e

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

Photo reprints