Many of those who buy their own health insurance stand to pay a lot more for their coverage. That is especially true for the nearly 3.4 million older Americans who have enrolled through the government marketplaces, many of whom receive generous federal subsidies through the health care law enacted under former President
Health care experts predict those older adults will end up buying skimpier plans with lower coverage and higher deductibles because that's all they will be able to afford. The Republican plan replaces the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act, which mostly benefit low- and middle-income earners, with a flat tax credit that does not take into account income or local insurances prices.
On top of that, the
The Republican plan is still evolving, and many
Based on the current plan, an
The AP analysis also found that on average, the counties with the strongest Trump support will see costs for older enrollees rise 50 percent more than the counties that had the least amount of support for Trump.
"A lot of people just won't be able to afford to pay it. A lot of people are going to drop out of the market altogether," said Kaiser's
That includes older voters who helped put Trump into office.
About 40 percent of
"When it comes to food or insurance, it's going to be an easy choice," said
Older Americans on both ends of the political spectrum say they are worried about what the future holds. Here are some of their stories:
Trump supporter and longtime Republican
He went about five years without insurance because it was financially out of reach. When insurance became available through the Affordable Care Act, the couple was able to get a policy for about
"It's nice to be able to go the doctor whenever something comes up. It gives you a peace ... especially when you get close to 60," said Ruscoe, 57, of
He said he didn't hesitate to sign up through the Affordable Care Act, a program his party spent years vowing to dismantle.
"It doesn't matter who came up with it. It's a good thing to be supporting across party lines," he said.
Worried about losing coverage, Ruscoe considered voting for a Democrat for the first time last November. But he ultimately placed his trust in Trump and the
"Obamacare is eventually going to have to be fiscally sound. Otherwise it's not going to stay," Ruscoe said. "I figured (a replacement) was coming, anyway."
He said he wants Trump to know that having access to insurance matters.
"That coverage made a big difference in a lot of people's lives, just like me," he said.
"I am conscious of just how desperate this is," said Holloway, 60, fighting back tears. "I try not to let myself feel this way, but to live this way with real terror, real fear that the universe is going to fall apart around me."
She takes home about
The Kaiser analysis estimates a family plan in
"I'd go without health care. I would get sicker, and that would make it more difficult to work. I would eventually have to stop working," said Holloway, a registered Democrat who voted for
Holloway said she has contemplated the possibility of selling her home and moving in with a family member in
"I'm not suicidal, but there are times that I think of the damage that could be done to my daughter and her future if I have to eat up all my reserves and my house and all that I own," she said.
The Affordable Care Act didn't work for
Kline tried buying a policy on the federal exchange but found she made a little too much money to qualify for a government subsidy. So she was stuck paying the market rate.
Her policy jumped this year from
"I try to put as much away as I can, but my health insurance is
Kline voted for Trump hoping he would be able to work with
She said she still has hope, but is increasingly skeptical.
"I'm so tired of the whole thing," she said. "When they talk, I turn the television down because it just drives me crazy."
Retired factory worker
He was staggered by a projection that the couple's premiums could go up by nearly
"It'll put me and my wife out — out of insurance. There's just no way," he said.
Melton saw a doctor for the first time in 12 years after he and his wife bought a policy through the federal health insurance exchange in 2014. After three appointments and blood tests ruled out more serious ailments, Melton said he learned the nagging pain he suffered in his hands was caused by arthritis.
The Meltons live in
"There's no justification for it except for spite. That's just the way I feel about it," said Melton, who voted for Clinton.
Although he's grateful for his federally subsidized plan, Melton's experience highlights the diminishing options that have plagued those trying to buy health insurance on the government exchanges established under the Obama reforms.
Last year, Melton's coverage cost only about
His current insurer,
Kennedy reported from