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Letter: The health care Trump voters want

Rep. Lee Zeldin writes about his health care goals in RiverheadLOCAL:

“We must repeal and replace Obamacare with a new reality that will work better and make health care more affordable for Long Islanders while continuing to cover those with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on their parent’s policy.”

letter to the editorNeither Zeldin, nor Paul Ryan, can explain how they are going to do the Houdini trick of promising to deliver features of Obamacare that are generally liked, but entail costs to providers and insurances and all of this without the individual mandate.

Providers don’t want to cover the costs and neither do insurances. Who is going to pay? The consumer, of course.

It might behoove them to check reports from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Kaiser studied six focus groups in three states: including a) Trump voters enrolled in the ACA marketplaces and b) Trump voters on Medicaid.

Here is what these voters want:

  1. more affordable coverage with both lower premiums/deductibles
  2. access to a broad range of doctors and hospitals
  3. greater transparency about their plans
  4. continued coverage of pre-existing conditions, and elimination of the individual mandate

Trump voters with marketplace coverage:

  • were overwhelmed by unaffordable, out-of-pocket costs and high deductibles
  • lowering premiums and out-of-pocket costs was the top priority
  • universally rejected low premium, high-deductible plans coupled with health savings
  • accounts as per Republican replacement plans.

Trump voters who gained coverage under ACA Medicaid expansion

  • faced more serious health issues, greater financial challenges and were grateful for Medicaid coverage
  • were distressed about losing their coverage

Four of our First Congressional District hospitals (Peconic Bay, Brookhaven, Stony Brook and Southside in Bay Shore) are designated “safety net hospitals” as they serve over 40 percent of out-patients (and over 35 percent of in-patients) that are either on Medicaid, or on Medicare/Medicaid, or are uninsured. Financially these hospitals are teetering and repealing Obamacare will make things worse for them. Their Medicaid patients include Trump/Zeldin voters who most likely have similar views to those in the Kaiser study.

 

David Posnett MD
East Hampton