It’s a mystery as old as time: Why would a person vote against their own interests just to spite the other political side? Well, that’s precisely what many a Republican seems to have done in regards to the GOP aim to replace Obamacare. It’s not often we get a peek at the exact moment when a Republican figures out that their whole life just got screwed by playing politics with the GOP, but Don Lemon of CNN delivered just that. It’s a rare glimpse into the motivations of an average Trump voter.
Mitch McConnell and his enablers have had years to come up with a reasonable health care plan for the majority of Americans. The release of Trumpcare 2.0 reveals their true motivations for repealing the ACA were about giving handouts to the rich and removing affordable care options for at least 22 million Americans. The dark irony is that the poor Republicans who supported Trump are the very ones who are most vulnerable to the devastating consequences of losing care and Medicaid benefits.
Half of all Trump votes came from white voters without a college education. The remaining Trump voters who earned over $200,000 a year are the only ones who might benefit from Trumpcare.
Exit polls showed that just 10 percent of Trump’s votes came from Americans earning $200,000 or more. Yet those voters would derive all benefits from the repeal of the two individual tax hikes targeting them: a 0.9 percent tax on their earnings, and a 3.8 percent tax on their investment income.
Don Lemon’s interview covered “people who are living the reality of the health care battle.” Pastor and Veteran Janice Hill and Trump voter Bob Ruscoe appeared with Lemon.
Staunch Republican Bob Ruscoe, a 57-year-old from West Palm Beach, made news once before in January 2017. CNN interviewed him then about his agonizing decision to vote for Trump despite knowing full-well that he would have had health care if he voted for Clinton, but probably not if he voted Trump:
“I agonized over the decision,” he said. “Part of me was saying, ‘if she gets in, at least we won’t have to worry about health care for four years,” Ruscoe told CNN in January.
Yet Ruscoe voted Trump anyway, saying, “It may not be totally repealed. It may be something else. I hope something will remain in place.” This even though Ruscoe had jumped at the opportunity to get insurance through the ACA, and compared getting health care to “coming out of the rain.” He wasn’t able to get insurance before the ACA because he was 100 lbs overweight and self-employed in 2013.
He paid $338 a month for coverage for himself and his wife in February. Without Obamacare, his plan would be $1,150 a month. His home state of Florida also happens to have the highest number of ACA enrollees in the country with 1 in 10 Floridians under 65 signed up.
He came forward to talk to CNN out of his sense of “civic duty” to speak up for those that Trumpcare would leave “swinging in the breeze.” Yet he still believes his friends would be surprised that he almost voted for Clinton:
“They’ll freak out that I was strongly considering voting for Clinton,” he said. “But I think she would have been very compassionate, and you need that,” Ruscoe said.
Ruscoe told CNN that he still somehow had no regrets in voting for Trump back then, but hoped that Trump would reconsider taking away the ACA.
Reality is sinking in…
In the new interview, Don Lemon finds out how Obamacare saved the life of Pastor Hill’s 40-year old daughter, who required cancer treatment. She confronted Republican West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito with her personal story. After telling her story with pictures, Pastor Hill still wasn’t sure the Senator understood the gravity of her appeal for the ACA, or that the Senator would act to vote against Trumpcare – even though millions would be affected.
Then we get to that revealing moment when Lemon asks Bob Ruscoe, “You’re a lifelong Republican, yet you and your wife are insured through the ACA, through Obamacare. What will happen to that insurance if Obamacare is repealed?”
Ruscoe pauses for a moment, and simply says, “We probably won’t be insured.”
It’s not the words that really say what he’s thinking though, as he is visibly upset and almost appears ready to break down. Lemon has to pause to ask him if he’s ok at that point.
Lemon: “So if would be incredibly hard financially for you, that’s what you’re saying?”
Ruscoe: “Absolutely. We wouldn’t be able to afford coverage without the Affordable Care Act.”
Lemon then asks how he could vote for Trump if he knew this was a possibility, which is what we all want to know!
Ruscoe offers that he hoped that Trump would “bring about something fiscally sound that will last.” He says that “Obamacare does have problems” that needed to be fixed, and is still hopeful that he could have some kind of coverage, which he recognizes as important for quality of life. It sounds like he bought into the stories directly from Republicans like Trump, who claim the ACA is in deep trouble, though enrollment in January skyrocketed.
Lemon attempts to find out if Ruscoe cares more about the politics of having Obama’s name on the bill, or if it’s really more about health care. Ruscoe calls that “a good question,” and responds that he hopes the Republicans evolve on a long-term solution, but doesn’t answer about the Obama name part of the equation.
See for yourself as Lemon inquires further with Ruscoe about why the Republicans appear to be rushing Trumpcare’s passage, even though the Republican voters and Republican Representatives will likely be hurt the most:
Featured image: Screenshot from YouTube