EdCC grad has mixed feelings on health care reform

SEATTLE — If you’re an early morning riser and into alternative and indie rock, you may have heard Ashley McDonald on radio station KEXP.

Each Monday, she has the 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. shift on the community-supported station, where she’s known as DJ Miss Ashley.

McDonald, an Edmonds Community College grad, now lives in Seattle. She also has a job at Sonic Boom Records in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.

She will celebrate her 25th birthday in August. Like many people her age, she has taken advantage of being able to remain on her parents’ health insurance, even after she left college.

Allowing adult children to remain on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26 is one of the more popular parts of an otherwise contentious federal health law that was upheld by the Supreme Court today.

But time is running out. She only has about a year left to remain on her parents’ health insurance plan.

McDonald works about 30 hours a week at the record store, not enough to qualify for health insurance.

She said she’s grateful to have the health care benefits through her mother, Julie McDonald, who works at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. The law allowing her daughter to have health insurance through age 25 “was a great relief,” Julie McDonald said. “I could say, ‘Go see your doctor.’”

Her daughter agrees. “I definitely feel like I’ve benefited from it,” Ashley McDonald said. She uses her current insurance for eye exams and dental check ups.

She said she hasn’t thought much about what she’ll do when she turns 26 and can no longer remain on her mother’s health insurance plan.

But she said she disagrees with the Supreme Court’s ruling that upheld the federal requirement for people to buy health insurance.

She’s healthy and on a tight budget.

“It should be a choice,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s really worth it. You take a percentage out of your paycheck and you may not even go to the doctor.”

Although her job at the record store is one she really enjoys, “we make a pretty low wage. It would be pretty hard to afford, she said.

“I don’t think it will go over well with a lot of people,” she said of the Supreme Court ruling. “I imagine there are people out there that still don’t know what happened and will be caught by surprise.

“I think health care should be our right as Americans — and it should be free,” she said.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com

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