Griffin Timmerman, six, is a runner. Given the opportunity, the small, lively boy, who has autism and prefers to play on his own, would just keep going. He once ran into the road; this is one of the reasons why his family moved out of Muncie, Indiana, to the country, giving him more space and free rein for his energy.
It is also why his family paid $20,000 (£14,500) in health insurance last year, which they bought on the Obamacare exchange. For that they got, among other things, a regular assistant for Griffin, who accompanied him to school and helped him integrate socially with his peers. “It’s crazy,” says Kelsey, his father, who is an author. “It’s our biggest expense as a family. But since it got Griffin what he needed, we were prepared to pay it again this year.”
Only this year was not like other years. Since Donald Trump took office, the Republicans have not been able to get rid of Obamacare. But by eliminating many of the provisions in the legislation they have managed to make it even more expensive and less available. “There used to be three or four companies that offered what we needed,” says Kelsey. “This year there was one and it didn’t cover an in-school therapist.”