Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A Trump voter in Trump country—maybe a coal miner in West Virginia or the patron of a sleepy diner in rural Kentucky—is a recipient of Medicaid coverage under Obamacare for a life-threatening illness or chronic condition, but still maintains total support for President Trump and a zeal for repealing the program.
Soon enough, there may be an addition to the tale of the anti-Obamacare Trump voter. On Thursday, the American Health Care Act, the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, passed the House after months of deliberation and frustration for the party. Party leaders celebrated in the Rose Garden; perhaps people in Trump country celebrated, too. But Democrats are likely fretting over the prospects of a bill that many of them deemed politically impossible. How did a bill that almost certainly makes health-care more expensive for low-income, sicker, older, and more rural voters who make up much of the Republican base even make it this far?
One good answer might come from a recent interview on the AHCA between Alabama’s Representative Mo Brooks and CNN’s Jake Tapper. “[The plan] will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool,” Brooks claimed. “That helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now, those are the people—who’ve done things the right way—that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”