Janice Phelps, a 60-year-old disabled factory worker in Evansville, Indiana, knows how expensive healthcare is.
Each month, shots for her severe asthma cost $3,000. Quarterly injections for knee pain cost $3,200. Medication for depression costs $900. She has had seven back surgeries, two shoulder surgeries, and two knee surgeries since 1985. The largest public health programs in America – Medicaid and Medicare, which aid the poor and the elderly – paid for nearly all of it.
Yet those programs are now threatened by the men she voted for: Donald Trump and former Indiana governor Mike Pence.
“I’m all in favor of repealing it,” she said about Republicans’ push to do away with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly known as Obamacare. But, she said, when you talk about cutting Medicaid: “I don’t agree with that at all.”
Dramatic changes to Medicaid – the scheme to help poorer Americans get healthcare – are just part of the reforms in a Republican bill leaders are trying to force through Congress at lightning speed. However, since it was introduced last Monday, the American Health Care Act has met opposition from the left, significant sections of the Republican party, and a slate of doctor, hospital and patient associations. It’s been called a “legislative orphan appealing to no one”.
Though Phelps said she would support Trump even if it passed, she is upset by the idea of Medicaid cuts.