As House Republicans and the White House mull over another possible repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, one man who voted for President Donald Trump says he depends on Medicaid (video below).
Kurt Farmer, a recovering drug addict and Trump supporter in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, told CNN: "If it weren't for Medicaid, I'd probably still be in my car using crystal meth and heroin, if not dead."
The first repeal and replacement plan supported by Trump and Republican House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin would have ended the required addiction and mental health services in states that chose to expand Medicaid under the ACA, also known as Obamacare.
"I would like to say I wouldn’t relapse," Farmer added off-camera. "But the chances are from past experience, if I’m not going to treatment, in a matter of a few weeks I start getting high."
Farmer recalled why he started using drugs:
I didn't grow up with my biological dad around so I know how that feels. And that's kind of what started me on the process of getting high because I just felt like: My dad can't love me. How can anyone else?
Amanda Lasota, who supported Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, also gets treatment for her addiction through Medicaid.
Lasota recalled off-camera when the first GOP health care replacement plan was under consideration: "I was scared to death that at the last minute, I was going to be told that I couldn’t go to treatment because I’d lost my funding."
After CNN told Lasota that Ryan had pulled the first GOP replacement plan, she said: "So my insurance stands where it is, right? And I can continue to get the treatment? Well, that's great because without my insurance, I don't know what I would do. Period."
Lasota explained the cycle of poverty and addiction:
We're poor because every ounce of our being goes into our addiction. It's a vicious, vicious cycle. I'm seeing so many people get kicked out of rehab because they don't have the funding for it and it's a shame, because they get sent back to the streets too early without enough time away form the drugs.
In May 2015, Trump tweeted: "I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. Huckabee copied me."
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania told CNN about his concerns if Medicaid is cut back: "I don't know what folks are going to do if they can no longer go into a hospital and be treated for substance use disorder. Their only option is to go back to the way it was -- to go into the emergency room."