Kentucky town reveals the lack of logic in health insurance debate

You’ll have to work hard to find any significant logic in the interviews Vox’s Sarah Kliff did with residents in Kentucky, who apparently voted for Donald Trump because they didn’t think he and the Republicans would really take away their health insurance.

He was, you may recall, the candidate promising to repeal Obamacare.

Democrats weren’t much interested in defending the health care law during the campaign and Kliff’s interviews reveal why. In 2016, down is up and up is down. And the voters were willing to play “chicken” on the issue.

Kathy Oller, in Corbin, KY., is one of those who voted for the president-elect.

“We all need it,” Oller told Kliff when she asked about the fact Trump and congressional Republicans had promised Obamacare repeal. “You can’t get rid of it.”

But she voted for Trump anyway because….

“I found with Trump, he says a lot of stuff,” she said. “I just think all politicians promise you everything and then we’ll see. It’s like when you get married — ‘Oh, honey, I won’t do this, oh, honey, I won’t do that.’”

Oller’s job? She signs people up for health care coverage.

Ruby Atkins, 59, brought up valid points. She can’t afford the $244 monthly premium and her $6,000 deductible is too high. She says her old insurance didn’t have a deductible and the co-pays were only $5.

But her new insurance provides free preventive care, which Atkins won’t use, Vox says.

But she skips mammograms and colonoscopies because she doesn’t think she’d have the money to pay for any follow-up care if the doctors did detect something.

Atkins says she only buys insurance as financial protection — “to keep from losing my house if something major happened,” she says. “But I’m not using it to go to the doctor. I’ve not used anything.”

The idea of preventive care, of course, is to prevent problems before they become the problems that can make you lose a house over medical expenses.

Atkins also says poor people get better coverage than she does.

“They can go to the emergency room for a headache,” she says. “They’re going to the doctor for pills, and that’s what they’re on.”

“They had a Christmas program. Some of the area programs would talk to teachers, and ask for a list of their poorest kids and get them clothes and toys and stuff. They’re not the ones who need help. They’re the ones getting the welfare and food stamps. I’m the one who is the working poor.”

“I really think Medicaid is good, but I’m really having a problem with the people that don’t want to work,” she said. “Us middle-class people are really, really upset about having to work constantly, and then these people are not responsible.”

Like Atkins? She was on Medicaid and wasn’t working. Her husband has cancer and was getting chemotherapy. Is she one of “those people”?

“Oh, no,” she said quickly. “I worked my whole life, so I know I paid into it. I just felt like it was a time that I needed it. That’s what the system is set up for.”

Kliff says all but one of the people she talked to knew the health care coverage they wanted was part of Obamacare, and they voted for Trump anyway.

“I guess I thought that, you know, he would not do this, he would not take health insurance away knowing it would affect so many peoples lives,” says Debbie Mills, an Obamacare enrollee who supported Trump. “I mean, what are you to do then if you cannot pay for insurance?”

She says the law made insurance affordable, especially with her husband on a waiting list for a new liver.

Kliff’s conversation with her revealed the state of the American electorate: Voters simply don’t believe what a candidate says.

Are you surprised how much Republicans are talking about repeal?

No.

Did you expect — do you think they’ll do it, or do you think it’ll be too hard?

I’m hoping that they don’t, ’cause, I mean, what would they do then? Would this go away?

Yes, possibly.

The insurance?

It will go, if they repeal it. I mean, that’s what they promised to do in so many elections.

Right … so … I don’t know. …

Republicans spent six years campaigning on dismantling the law. How could people not believe they would?

“We used the same logic that Mills did,” Kliff says. “We thought, of course you can’t take away a program that millions of Americans rely on.”

Up to 52 million non-elderly Americans could lose access to health care when Obamacare is repealed, Kaiser Health reported yesterday.

The same foundation issued a poll earlier this month showing only 1 in 4 people wants the law fully repealed.

And 42 percent of those who want the law repealed, want Republicans to have a replacement in place first.

That’s not how it’s going to work, apparently. The Associated Press reports the repeal votes could come next month and a replacement might not be in place for up to three years, if at all.

  • wjc

    You wrote: “Kliff’s conversation with her revealed the state of the American electorate: Voters simply don’t believe what a candidate says.”

    http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/249697-trump-replace-obamacare-with-something-terrific

    Unreal! Of course, Trump also said that Obamacare would be replaced with “something terrific”. That should reinforce Kliff’s belief that candidates won’t always do what they say.

    • jon

      We didn’t think he’d repeal Obamacare!
      We just thought that building a wall, draining the swamp, and locking her up would take all of his time!
      I mean who thought repealing Obamacare even be possible while he was deporting 10’s of millions of people, making the Iranian nuclear deal more appealing to people who won’t read it any how, saving billions of american jobs, and stopping muslims from entering the country.

      I guess when your candidate makes hundreds of unrealistic promises and one realistic one you should be able to guess which one he is going to keep…

      • rallysocks

        //We didn’t think he’d repeal Obamacare!
        We just thought that building a wall, draining the swamp, and locking her up would take all of his time!

        They were silly! He said he would do all that on DAY 1. Leaving him plenty of spare time to his claim his right to micromanage “The Apprentice.”

        • jon

          I assumed by Day 2 he’d have been impeached for what he did on Day 1!

          Actually I’m still thinking that is a realistic possibility…
          Did you hear what he did to Paul Ryan (the guy who would over see the proceedings to impeach him) in WI?

          • rallysocks

            Go on…

          • BJ

            Between his actually very liberal social stance and his friendly relationship with foreign leaders that have been traditionally US enemies will be his down fall with the GOP.

            I can’t wait to see his supreme court nomination. I have a feeling it will be so out of the ordinary that it will be the thing that breaks them.

  • Robert Moffitt

    It will be interesting to see how this community votes in 2020. I suspect there will be little change from 2016.

    • BJ

      Less people will vote because they will feel betrayed.

  • Sam M

    It will be interesting to see where this all goes. What he follows through on and what he doesn’t. Will he be a populist or show his true colors?

    For some reason I don’t think it will matter. I think if he wants a second term (and that is a big IF) he will get it regardless…. ugh.

  • MikeB

    It’ll be a painful lesson to learn. But I suspect they’ll lose their insurance and not change anything else.

  • Rob

    This is a stark and stunning illustration of people voting against their own interests.

  • chris

    It would not surprise me a bit if in fact they don’t repeal the ACA, and it won’t even matter, they’ll just brush it off. Kind of like how Trump solves all problems: promise a press conference with an announcement that will make it all ok, then later cancel the press conference. Problem solved. Rational thought is not really part of the equation here. It is mostly driven by the gut feeling these voters have that they just can’t vote for one of those city people democrats.

    Also, favorite quote from a good book, “The world doesn’t run on logic. It runs on the seven deadly sins and the weather.”

    • Tim

      This is what I ultimately see happening as well, though I could be wrong. It reminds me of the attempt to reform Social Security just over a decade ago — people like the idea of the change more than the messy reality, and thus it went nowhere.

  • Anna

    This emphasizes the need for every American to stay on top of what is happening in Congress and how your senators and representatives voted on issues from environmental protection to healthcare issues.

    The Republicans took their case against the Affordable Care Act to the Supreme Court in an effort to get it declared unconstitutional especially in regards to the penalty for not having health insurance.

    They haven’t come up with a viable alternative in eight years. What makes Trump supporters think they are not going to repeal it and then leave all those hundreds of thousands of voters left holding the bag? They have their own golden healthcare parachutes just for serving in government including retirement pay. What do they care if we lesser mortals succumb to a preventable disease because we couldn’t afford to see a doctor?

    They will be lucky if Social Security survives with the plans Paul Ryan has for it. After the Great Recession, I wouldn’t trust a private investment firm to handle my paycheck, let alone my retirement funds.

    Those who supported Trump and the Republicans have sold themselves down the river for a measly tax cut that won’t amount to a hill of beans when cancer or a heart attack comes calling.

    The reason he is nominating all the multi-billionaires and military experts is because he doesn’t have a clue how to run the country let alone keep things running smoothly.

    My Finnish grandfather wouldn’t allow the color red in the house. He said the only good Russian is a dead Russian. Look up the history of the Finns and Russia and you’ll know why especially in regards to the Karelian peninsula.

    Definitely, let’s appoint an oil company executive with vested interest in drilling Arctic areas controlled by Russia as Secretary of State, the same country that invaded the Crimea and assisted the disenchanted Ukranians in breaking away from the Ukraine.

    What alternative reality have these folks been living in?

    While I try to adhere to trusting people until they give me a reason not to, I don’t trust Donald Trump any further than I could throw the Trump Tower across the East River.

    • rallysocks

      //What alternative reality have these folks been living in?

      You are far too polite =)

  • Mike Worcester

    Kentucky was also the state which last year elected Matt Bevin as its governor, who campaigned explicitly on ending Kynect, the state’s version of the ACA signup. The year before, Sen. Mitch McConnell dismissed Kynect as “just a web site”. Bevin said the state should stop spending $$ on its own portal and switch over to the federal exchange.

    So this is certainly not the first time the voters of the Bluegrass State voted for a candidate who said he would take away that which has helped so many. Though it appears they all thought he was just kidding….

  • LifebloodMN

    Repeal and replace it. No reconciliations, repeal it. We can do better. We will do better.

    • Rob

      Here’s an idea; the Repub Congress should come up with a viable replacement/enhancement FIRST, then do the repeal. Oh, wait – they’ve had plenty of time to follow that process but punted instead, so we’ll still get a repeal with nothing teed up to replace ACA. ‘Cuz American Exceptionalism.

    • joetron2030

      With…?

    • Tim

      They’ve had six years to work on the “replace” part. How’s that coming along? Talk is cheap; details are hard.

      • LifebloodMN

        It took six years to get where we are now and demonstrate the failure of Obamacare, so it’s going to take us a little while to fix it.

        • crystals

          Are you okay with people having no health care while the “replace” thing happens? Or are you saying that it shouldn’t be repealed until there actually IS a thing to replace it?

          Republicans had six years to draft something in anticipation of this moment, and now they’re asking for more time while millions of Americans lose coverage. Bah humbug.

          • LifebloodMN

            No one is losing coverage yet. Lets address the facts when we have the data. I have a major problem with the fact that U.S. spends more on health care than other high-income countries but has worse outcomes. I’m mad that other people aren’t mad about this. We can do better

          • crystals

            I’m all for doing better. You didn’t answer my question, though – are you saying it shouldn’t be repealed until there is something to replace it, or are you saying it should be repealed right away? I can’t tell from your comments, and you can’t have it both ways.

        • Tim

          And the insurance industry is just going to sit there while the Republicans sort all this out? Hardly. Obamacare goes, they’ll bail from the market and stop selling the policies. They’re not going to take massive financial losses just to save Congress from the anger of voters — they broke it, they bought it.

        • Michael

          Please remember that President Obama himself said that this wasn’t perfect, but a starting point that we needed to work on to make better and that it SHOULD BE reviewed and changed as we learned more.

        • Jasper

          Really not an excuse considering they have been railing against it since before it even began. Why haven’t they spent all these years trying to come up with a better plan to replace it? Either they thought the previous health insurance industry was working great (which it obviously wasn’t for lots of people) or they just don’t care, because it wasn’t negatively affecting them personally.

          • Fixing that which didn’t work would weaken them politically, or at least that’s the perception.

          • LifebloodMN

            The “Empowering Patients First Act” was the alternative and has been introduced in every congressional session since ACA was introduced. But of course even if voted on and passed it would never make it across the president’s desk.

          • Maybe it’s becasue people with pre-existing conditions got moved into high-risk insurance pools, where it’s nearly impossible to find affordable coverage.

            Or maybe it didn’t pass because Republicans couldn’t agree on it in Congress, in which case what’s the plan for having them agree on it now?

            McCain introduced it in the Senate in February. It was referred to a committee where it died in the Republican controlled Senate.

            same thing in the Republican controlled House. It was kicked around and referred to 13 different committees in the last year.

            But, sure, it’s reasonable politically to repeal Obamacare and substitute Price’s baby instead. But where’s the evidence that’s likely to happen.

            Repeal and Replace is sounding mroe like “Repeal and We’ll Do Something Else … Later.” And we’ve seen how that goes enough times, right?

          • LifebloodMN

            The EPFA Bill, now in it’s forth iteration somewhat dances around the whole issue of pre-existing conditions which was arguably Obamacare’s most popular portion. But as far as I can tell it extends “HIPAA continuous coverage protections to the individual market.” Whats the plan for having them agree now? I’m not sure, but there will be 20+ pens waiting in the oval office.

  • jon

    Obama issued 12 vetos during his 8 years…
    One was overridden by congress.
    Two were from before the republicans controlled the senate.
    That leaves 9 things that the republican congress managed to agree on that they weren’t able to do.
    One of them was to repeal obamacare… another was for the keystone xl pipeline…

    Full list of repeals here:
    http://www.senate.gov/reference/Legislation/Vetoes/ObamaBH.htm

    With a list of 9 things they couldn’t do before but actually put some effort into… Do you think that these 9 things aren’t going to be the top of the list… I know they campaigned on a lot of issues… but 2 years they managed to agree within the party to 9 things… seems like those 9 things are going to be the 9 things that happen in the next 6 months.

  • Jeff

    Despite the ill-informed indiividuals suckers in the interview, the ACA doesn’t affect many people significantly since most have insurance through their employer or Medicare. I’d guess to most of these people the ACA is a synonym for big government telling them what to do. It’s also very convenient to demonize it for any increases in costs no matter where they come from.

    Even though the “wombat is flying the airplane”, I’m inclined to wait and see what happens before saying the sky is falling.

    • 17 million people ain’t nobody. And ACA allowed people with insurance through work to keep kids on their plan through 26. It allowed them to be able to leave their employer without losing their insurance because of a pre existing condition. It required preventive screening, particularly for women.

      It banned annual and lifetime limits on care. It removed the gender inequity where women paid more than men, it removed the requirement for referrals for OB-GYN. It required coverage for immunizations. It banned employer discrimination of providing coverage based on salary. It banned any waiting periods beyond 90 days. It provided a tax credit to small employers.

      So, you know, no.

      Of course, most Americans don’t know any of that because … oh, squirrel.

      • Anna

        It’s nice that it did all those things but affordable care seemed to stop with affordable premiums which have nothing to do with the actual cost of providing medical care.

        Would you rather pay $600 dollars a month knowing that your annual deductible would be less than $500 or would you rather pay $250 month with the annual deductible at $6,000, about the average cost of an emergency room visit for a broken limb or an anaphylactic reaction. The cost is the same, give or take about $1,000.

        The only reason in today’s healthcare market to have health insurance is to prevent bankruptcy from a costly catastrophic illness. A catastrophic job loss which means loss of health benefits can do the job very nicely as well as the millions of voters in the Rust Belt and the Southern Red Belt have discovered over the last 20 years.

        Technology is expensive and medical facilities have to justify their investment and the way they justify it is by putting on the backs of insurance companies who in turn put it on the backs of insureds.

        The only real solution for the healthcare crisis is universal healthcare or “socialized” medicine as highly paid medical specialists and ultra rich Republicans like to refer to it as.

        At some point, it will reach critical mass and I hope I will be long gone when it does because when it happens it ain’t goin’ to be pretty.

        • // It’s nice that it did all those things but affordable care seemed to stop with affordable premiums which have nothing to do with the actual cost of providing medical care.

          It is nice that it did all those things. It’d be nicer if people knew it did all those things because maybe then people would’ve pressed to have spent the last six year tweaking it and getting it to work right rather than just trying to kill it because it has the letters O-B-A-M-A in it and it made a swell election platform gimmick to campaign against a name of something.

          “Obamacare” was the best thing ever to happen for Republicans. “Health insurance” might not have been as useful .

        • rallysocks

          //Technology is expensive and medical facilities have to justify their investment and the way they justify it is by putting on the backs of insurance companies who in turn put it on the backs of insureds.

          Yes, it is expensive, as are the Admin salaries. Just by sheer volume, hospitals pay off their improvements fairly quickly. There is no reason why the exorbitant fees are still being charged years after that technology is paid for and/or becomes commonplace.

          And don’t even get me started on insurance execs and their pay packages!

          The common thread always seems to be greed. Money earned on the backs of people who can least afford it all while saying, “it’s not on us–it’s the other guys you should be mad at!”

          I’m not saying hospitals and insurance companies shouldn’t make any profit–they obviously need a healthy bottom line, but I’ve sat through too many meetings where Finance did all but rub their hands together in glee on their profit margins without a thought to the patients and that they were making their money off someone else’s misfortune.

          Also, Bob C. has a valid point below regarding the demonizing the ACA instead of working to make it better.

          Greed and outright lies are two things that really upset me.

      • Mike Worcester

        It was almost torturous to watch Allison Grimes try to dance around the Obamacare/ACA issue in the 2014 Senate race against Mitch McConnell. Even though it was Obamacare that brought all the benefits you outlined above, the word alone was nearly radioactive. As the VOX article noted, folks were getting Obamacare without even knowing it.

        • The Democrats were pretty well gutless on the issue. The fact they couldn’t — or wouldn’t — put up a fight no doubt enhanced Trump’s perception that he would put up a fight on things.

          • On the issue, the speech by Bruno Gianelli (played by Ron silver, who was actually a conservative) got it right. “We cowered in the corner and said, ‘please don’t hurt me.'”

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL8aKMaOewE

          • Mike Worcester

            One of my faves. Aaron Sorkin nailed it there. And I love quoting the great Molly Ivins, who once said that liberals are just too polite, that they need to learn how to stand up and fight for what they believe in. Yup!

        • rallysocks

          Out here in the sticks, we were bombarded with Jay Backer ads accusing Jay McNamar of…(wait for it!)…BRINGING OBAMACARE TO MINNESOTA!!!11!! The only thing it was missing was Jaws, Psycho and dun dun DUN all playing simultaneously.

          McNamar focused on the positive and didn’t really address the ACA. But then again, I stopped listening after awhile. The only thing that kept me amused was that the woman who voiced all the Backer ads sounded a little more apathetic in each ad.

          • Remember the great Ebola scare during the gubernatorial election of ’14. It was a real crisis. One political party couldn’t stop talking about the threat.

            You remembe when the “threat” went way: The minute the polls closed on Election Day. Then you never heard another word.

          • Mike Worcester

            It helped get Paul LePage re-elected in Maine, and gave Chris Christie a chance to bluster a bit more.

    • Rob

      Lamb chops – it’s what’s for dinner!

  • JB

    This article tries to make it sound as if Trump’s stance on the ACA factored into these voters decisions when in reality this line from the story completely sums it up…

    “We were wanting change,” she said. “We’re in an area with a lot of coal. When people aren’t in the coal mines, they’re not spending and buying in our area.” She said she thought Trump, a successful businessman, would have a better shot at fixing all that.

    People in manufacturing and coal production, two dying industries, were promised a return to the glory days and repealing Obamacare was just along for the ride.

    • No, what sums it up is this line:

      “I found with Trump, he says a lot of stuff,” she said. “I just think all politicians promise you everything and then we’ll see. It’s like when you get married — ‘Oh, honey, I won’t do this, oh, honey, I won’t do that.’”

      And, in particular, why they choose to believe some things politicians say and not others.

      They gambled. They’ll lose their coverage. And the coal jobs aren’t coming back.

      When people desperately want to believe something, they’ll go to great lengths to avoid anything that might suggest a different reality.

      • crystals

        I think it was a writer for the Atlantic who summed it up best – Trump supporters took him seriously but not literally, while opponents took him literally but not seriously.

  • Will

    The premise of this article seems to omit the fact that many people don’t vote on purely on the Obamacare issue.

    • Sam M

      See Bob’s reply to JB below.

      I would add that they voted for business man to turn their economy around. In fact, most business people usually only care about improving their own personal economy which I believe is the direction President Elect Trump is heading unfortunately.

      • Well, all politics is local and local politics tends to be personal and I don’t think that’s a flaw. The flaw is that people don’t put as much work into researching the issues that are personal to them. Convincing people that someone is getting something you’re not getting is rich and fertile ground for politicians.

        • Sam M

          Not following

          • The auto jobs aren’t coming back to Flint. The steel mills in Gary aren’t going reopen, and Xcel energy isn’t going to knock down their gas-fired generator on the river in St. Paul to build one that burns coal.

            I agree with you that they voted for someone to “turn the economy around” , but they weren’t that interested in pressing him on exactly what that looks like, a prerequisite to being able to test it.

            I don’t begrudge anybody for voting their personal economy. I fault them for not recognizing when they’re actively voting against their interests.

            There’s an argument that they didn’t like the choice they got. But this was a three year campaign that involved about 20 people running. The American voter wasn’t an innocent bystander during that time.

          • Sam M

            Yes their premise for why they thought he would turn their economy around is the reason why I don’t think it will happen. Helping them now doesn’t help him and in the end that might not matter to them again in 2020.

            I hate the we don’t like our choices argument too.

            I’m not sure if I feel bad or not for the people that I believe got duped.

          • Rob

            The trouble is that we’re all going to get clusterf&!ked because enough people got duped.

          • Sam M

            A lot of the people that voted for him could really use a government that works for them instead of against them which is what he will do.

            I’m a white college educated male with a good job… I’m doing ok and have a feeling that the chances of that continuing for the most part are pretty good with the likes of Trump in office.

          • tboom

            Get back to me in 4 years and again when you turn 67. Under Trump your healthcare costs and employment rules will likely go south. Under Ryan’s unchecked leadership your Social Security will likely be privatized into obscurity.

            Unless you’re in the top 1 tenth of the the top 1 percent I suspect you’ll feel the effect.

            On the other hand you’ll probably save a couple bucks on taxes.

          • Sam M

            Don’t misunderstand my post as supporting. Merely stating why I’m not aplaplectic about anybody but a Dem in office which apparently you would have been. I was just voicing my sympathy for those that voted and will be disappointed.

            Don’t jump off the bridge it’s not worth it.

          • tboom

            True I tend liberal, yet I’m old enough to have seen great conservative leaders and conservative ideas, even supported some. The problem with our current politics is the “all or nothing philosophy” where hammering out solutions where everyone gets something is considered blasphemy. It sort of forces you to one side of the aisle or the other.

            The problem I see is complete control, both legislative and executive, no check on the balance of power. Ryan has been working on gutting the Social Security System for years, he now has at least a 2 year window and a position where that becomes possible.

            I don’t know where Trump is going but I think he’s about making money for the already rich (so long to the suckers who voted for him). I’m confident that in 4 years this country will have taken huge steps back on issues I care about, the environment, economy, human rights, equality, foreign relations, war and peace, you know that soft squishy liberal stuff.

          • Sam M

            Amen to all that brotha. I don’t tend to think all progress will be lost but we shall see.

    • The premise was no such thing. The premise of the article was that people chose not to believe what the candidate they voted for was saying on one issue, preferring to believe what he was saying on other issues was the truth.

      It’s a psychological premise. How do people decide what is truth and what is fiction. In many ways, it’s like the people in Aleppo, who are likely comforting themselves by assuring each other it’s going to be alright. It’s not going to be alright, of course. But sometimes belief can be so strong, the reality doesn’t really get through the door.

      Nobody is suggesting that any election — other than amendments — is necessarily a one-issue test.

      No doubt someone will check in on coal country again on other issues and see whether the jobs came back.

      Oh, by the way, Obamacare reinstated two provisions rof the Black Lung Benefits Act that had been eliminated. It made Black Lung the presumed cause of death for miners who worked in the mines for at least 15 years and suffered a disability from a respiratory ailment. And it automatically transfer black lung benefits from the late recipient to eligible survivors.

      That’s the sort of thing that doesn’t make it to sound bites and bumper stickers, even in coal country.

  • Mike

    For me, the most relevant statistic of the election was that median income is lower today than it was in 2000. I think people tend to associate the party holding the presidency with power, even if the opposite party holds Congressional majorities.

    That would go a long way toward explaining why Trump won. It’s not logical but is also not entirely illogical for voters who perceive their interests are being ignored by the political establishment. It was a reasonable expectation that we’d get more of the same under Hillary Clinton that we had from Obama the past eight years. If the status quo wasn’t working for you in a broader sense, you might not care so much about something like the ACA, which is tangible only to a relatively small minority of voters. Moreover, there are obviously problems with the ACA in terms of coverage and affordability. From a political perspective, it wasn’t a slam dunk; it was really intended as much to preserve the health insurance industry as to serve the public.

  • >>She says her old insurance didn’t have a deductible and the co-pays were only $5.<<

    LOLWUT?

    • BJ

      in 1987

      • No kidding…

      • CatMousy

        She worked in the public school system. This was probably her deal through her employer. Or maybe through her husband’s employer, especially if he was in a union.

        She probably doesn’t realize that IF she was insurable on the individual market (which I’d give her a 50/50 for, unless she is or has ever been a smoker and then it goes to 0), family premiums and deductibles would have been right about there, more or less depending on the type of insurance chosen. If it was somehow significantly less, it probably covered basically nothing and was worthless beyond the “hit by a bus” scenario, and she’d be in the same boat she’s in now. Not going to the doctor. Of course, never having experienced the individual market, she wouldn’t know any of this and if anyone tried to explain it to her, she didn’t understand/ didn’t listen/ or figured “too bad, I got mine”.

        • BJ

          My father and grandfathers all had similar insurance, before I graduated High School, which was over 25 years ago. They all had really great Union jobs. By the time I graduated high School our co-pay was $10 I remember all 3 complaining about it, medication was $1. No deductible.

          My wife’s current very good Union job has $35 co-pay and no deductible, medication is $30 (I can usually get generic of my 3 monthly prescriptions for under the co-pay, but if I present my insurance it is $30 each). We pay about $500 for our share of the coverage which is 40% of the total cost of that plan (we only know this because we have had a chance to read the union contract, which says the employer can’t advertise the fact that they pay 60% of the health insurance).

          Since I have turned 18 I have never had a plan (that wasn’t under my wife) that had anything less than $50 co pay and $5000 deductible. My first employer out of high school offered insurance, that I turned down, that was about $200 per month with those levels of coverage.

  • Khatti

    It turned out that a lot of people voted their hearts instead of their heads? I’m having a Claude Rains in “Casablanca” moment here.

  • My Uber driver today was convinced Trump would never actually take away health care.

    • He also drove in the wrong direction several times so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

  • Robert Moffitt