Trump supporters have become a little too comfortable with not taking him literally, which is an easy thing to do when your political idol’s indifference to the truth is downright pathological.
If the bill for his proposed border wall ends up coming out of their pockets instead of Mexico’s, it likely won’t move the scales much regarding their support of him. And if that Muslim ban doesn’t go through as planned? Hey, sh*t happens. But when it comes to actual matters of life and death for them and their families, that’s when the immovable Trump supporter begins to waffle a bit.
@realDonaldTrump You d-bag. Your making America great again by killing affordable healthcare? Regretting that I voted for you already.
— Ultimate Privacy (@ultprivacy) January 13, 2017
In mid-December, Vox published a powerful piece about Trump voters in Whitley County, Kentucky. Uninsured rates in Whitley dropped 60 percent under Obamacare, but 82 percent of voters supported Trump in the 2016 election. It’s perfect fodder for the liberal blogosphere, but looking past the numbers reveals a tragic story of fellow humans holding on for dear life.
Vox’s senior editor Sarah Kliff profiled one woman, Trump voter Debbie Mills, a small business owner whose husband was awaiting a life-saving liver transplant. They were able to obtain insurance through the ACA (Affordable Care Act).
“I don’t know what we’ll do if it does go away,” Mills said. “I guess I thought that, you know, [Trump] would not do this. That they would not do this, would not take the insurance away. Knowing that it’s affecting so many people’s lives. I mean, what are you to do then if you cannot… purchase, cannot pay for the insurance?”
Mills assumed the Obamacare repeal rhetoric was just political posturing.
“I guess we really didn’t think about that, that he was going to cancel that or change that or take it away,” she said. “I guess I always just thought that it would be there. I was thinking that once it was made into a law that it could not be changed.”
According to the Washington Post, The Urban Institute estimated in December that “under the partial repeal plan previously passed by Republicans in Congress, 30 million people would lose insurance, 82 percent of them would be in working families and 56 percent would be white.”
Trump will almost certainly bring change to Obamacare. Republicans are moving quickly on repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a new policy. The current proposals suggest that policy will be better for the young, rich, and healthy — but worse for the poor, sick, or old. The type of people I spoke with in Kentucky are those at risk of being disadvantaged by some of the replacement ideas.
As Debbie Mills slept during the early hours of Thursday morning, Republicans took the first meaningful step towards making her nightmare a reality, as they voted almost unanimously to approve a budget that would kill the ACA.
Unfortunately for her and her husband, the party they voted for doesn’t even have a plan to take its place.
Update, 1/14/17, 11:21 pm:
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has announced that he’ll be unveiling a replacement plan for the ACA this week. This Saturday evening, Paul tweeted a photo of a bill titled the “Obamacare Replacement Act.”
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 15, 2017
From The Hill:
The photo depicts the first page of a bill and comes after Paul pledged on Monday to roll out an ObamaCare replacement bill this week. Paul indicated he would reveal more details soon.