Dallas Wiens is now the recipient of a brand new face, complete with "a nose, lips, skin and muscles and nerves that animate the skin and give sensation," the Associated Press reports. These are all things that Wiens has been missing since 2008, after an electrical accident left him badly burned and disfigured.
The Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel points out on Twitter today that Obamacare helped this happen. As explained in a Huffington Post article, "the new federal health care law helped make the operation possible, by allowing Wiens to get insurance coverage for the expensive drugs he will need lifelong to prevent rejection of his new face." Following a number of surgeries immediately after the accident, high disability payments cost Wiens his Medicaid coverage. It's the provision of the health care reform law allowing adult children to remain on their family's insurance until they're 26 that is making it possible for Wiens to afford the anti-rejection medications needed post-surgery. Once he is 26, Wiens will become eligible for Medicare, which will then cover his drug costs.
That said, there was some pretty significant help from other parts of the government as well. The Defense Department's $3.4 million transplant research fund paid for Wiens' surgery at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital last week. It took 30 doctors and nurses 15 hours to complete, and was the first full facial transplant ever performed in the United States.