As of Thursday afternoon, Trumpcare passed the House of Representatives and now makes its way to the United States Senate. If it wins the majority vote, the bill will send Americans across party lines back to the darker ages of healthcare, supporters of President Donald Trump very much included.
Those who drank the Trump Kool-Aid have taken the nation with them on their path of self-destruction. Given what we know about human nature, it's safe to assume that this is predominately unintentional, and mostly due to a powerful general ignorance about what's truly at play in American politics.
Those who stand by the president continue to support a man who found the recognition he's always dreamed of in a political party intent on gutting America to feed a few rich cannibals. The problem is, no one really wants to be gutted, so the only way the GOP can succeed in being greedy is by fueling a fantasy. However cozy a fantasy is, though, reality always comes knocking.
According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, the voters who will be hit the hardest by Trumpcare supported him by a margin of 59 percent to 36 percent. Of the 11.5 million Americans who used the Obamacare marketplace to purchase insurance, 6.3 million of them live in areas currently governed by Republicans.
If Obamacare is repealed, Americans living in rural areas will be disproportionately affected, and rural America was a key voting demographic for Trump in the 2016 election. Republicans have always relied on these constituents to maintain power.
In addition, older, low income Americans living in 1,500 counties across the U.S. could lose over $6,000 annually in federal insurance subsidies, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis. Ninety percent of these counties voted for Trump in the 2016 election.
“It literally saved my life,” said John Thompson, and evangelical Christian from North Carolina who was diagnosed with cancer and credits Obamacare with his ability to get treatment. “People like me are going to get screwed. That’s just the reality.”
In his conversation with the Los Angeles Times, Thompson explained that he has since rethought his allegiance to the GOP, finding it difficult to support a political party ready to sentence so many to hard lives and even deaths.
“Republicans may seem very happy to slap their constituents in the face while picking their pockets,” Mark Mellman, a Democratic political consultant who works in Republican-held areas, told the Los Angeles Times. “But I think they will rue the day they did this.”
Unless Trumpcare is the well thought out and inclusive healthcare bill this country needs, the GOP is playing with fire. They stand to lose invaluable support if this bill becomes law and fails to serve the millions of Americans not doing business with Capitol Hill. The Republican party can only lie, deny, and lead their supporters on for so long before there's a knock at the door.