Politics

Study: Trump Voters Worried GOP May End Obamacare

| by Michael Allen

A new study by the Kaiser Foundation found that supporters of President-elect Donald Trump in Rust Belt states --- Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania -- do not think Trump will totally dismantle the Affordable Care Act, despite his many promises to do so during the presidential campaign. They also expressed worry about some features of Obamacare going away.

Drew Altman, president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, wrote in The New York Times on Jan. 5 that the Trump voters are upset about rising health insurance premiums and deductibles, which they blamed on Obamacare.

In the seven years it has existed, Obamacare has never set prices. That task is decided by the health insurance companies and state regulators.

"The very last thing they want is higher out-of-pocket costs," notes Altman.

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The ACA actually caps out-of pocket costs, but that cap will disappear if the Republicans and Trump repeal Obamacare.

According to Altman, the December 2016 Kaiser study focused on six groups in the Rust Belt states -- half of the people were on Medicaid, while the other half used private insurance.

The Trump voters with private insurance, who were eligible for Obamacare subsidies, were resentful of their fellow Americans who were impoverished enough to qualify for Medicaid.

The Trump voters trusted Trump to do the right thing, but added that they did not know what he was going to do and that worried them.

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The Trump supporters were upset at the drug and insurance companies' high prices, which Democrats have slammed for decades. One Trump voter said he regularly travels to Eastern Europe to buy his diabetes medication at lower prices.

When the Trump voters were told about the proposed Republican replacements for the ACA -- Health Savings Accounts, tax credits, large deductibles normally used in catastrophic coverage -- some of them insisted those solutions were "not insurance at all."

Altman wrote that the Trump voters "expressed disbelief" when they were told that Trump may use the GOP solutions. They also expressed concern about the "chaos" that would happen if Trump and the GOP repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan.

One Trump voter said he didn't think "a smart businessman like Trump would let that happen."

The Trump voters expressed their support for Obamacare's insurance market that allowed them to shop for plans on one website, and insisted that Trump would protect people with pre-existing medical conditions, which the ACA currently does.

The Trump voters' solutions for health care included controlling out-of-pocket costs, controlling drug prices, and getting rid of high medical bills for out-of-network care, all of which are similar the policies of countries with socialized medicine such as Canada, France and the U.K.

During a debate with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in October 2016, Trump called Canada's system a "disaster," noted The Guardian.

He went on to say that Canadians "when they need a big operation, when something happens, they come into the United States, in many cases because their system is so slow, it’s catastrophic in certain ways."

Trump's assertions were mocked by Canadians on social media who presented evidence that supported their health care system.

Pence said in November 2016 that Americans "don’t want the socialized health care they have in Canada. We want American solutions," reported the Toronto Star.

Sources: The New York Times, The GuardianToronto Star / Photo credit: Michael Candelori/Flickr

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