The Hillary Clinton campaigners have gone after my white, suburban, college-educated mom group hard this election season. She needs us to win the White House. This is especially true since I live in the swing state of North Carolina. With Donald Trump leading among men in battleground states, Clinton needs women like me to turn out in big numbers.
Historically, women like me have voted Republican, but that’s not a forgone conclusion. We are open to change, and all of a sudden, the late GenXer/millennial mom is now a coveted swing group that can alter the course of a national election. Clinton has exploited this opportunity by repeatedly declaring how misogynistic Trump is and how we need to “be with her” and make history together by voting for the first woman president.
While I would have loved to make history by voting in the first president of my gender, that’s not going to happen this time. I’m voting for Trump. It’s not because I’m blind to his many faults; I see them perfectly. But they pale in comparison to Clinton’s, not only her lack of trustworthiness and political corruption but her deeply flawed policies.
What matters to me are not appeals to identity politics and making history, but the platforms on which each candidate stands. Trump’s policies and proposals are more in line with what’s good for my family and country, while Clinton’s pose a threat to our individual liberty and welfare in just about every sphere, particularly health care.
Obamacare Is Devastating, But Hillary Wants More
My main reason for voting for Trump boils down one simple promise: to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and start over with much needed health-care law changes, but the right ones. The changes that put health-care choices back where it belongs: in the hands of individuals and families with free markets to compete and states free to make decisions for their residents.
Did the ACA make a few good changes, such as taking away the ability for insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions? Absolutely. But everything else that goes with it is simply unaffordable in the long run.
This is a point I think so many voters, especially women, and even more especially mothers are missing. They don’t realize just how harmful Obamacare will be. They look at their monthly premium and think it’s affordable, but they don’t see all the other costs. It’s like how most people view buying a car or a home: they get stuck on the number they think they can afford per month without looking at the total cost of the purchase. Despite my monthly premium being something our family can “afford” (and even that is questionable), when I look at the overall picture, it isn’t affordable at all. In fact, it’s devastating.
The “Affordable” Care Act is an absolute joke. It promises health-care coverage for all, but taxes those who can’t afford the premiums. So many insurers are pulling out of the exchanges that many people are left with one insurance option. This is certainly the case in my home state of North Carolina, where we are left with one insurer. That insurer doesn’t have to provide competitive rates against other insurers because that competition doesn’t exist. Even adding one other insurer into the mix doesn’t change the reality that health care is no longer affordable.
This is the reality for my family of seven: We’re a middle-class family with growing children, and when I get notifications detailing how much my health-care deductibles are going to go up and benefits I depended on to keep health-care affordable being eradicated in 2017, I immediately ask: how on earth are we going to pay for a major illness or a hospitalization? What seemed like a reasonable monthly premium on paper becomes more than a mortgage when you throw in the real cost if you have anything happen outside of routine exams and preventative health-care.
More Money, Less Coverage
Anyone who is a contract employee knows the pain of dealing with health-care exchanges—and the number of contract and self-employed employees is growing because employers large and small can’t afford to provide health-care coverage. Last year, we were all but forced to choose a local-only health-care plan. Not only did our monthly premium go up, not down, but so did our deductible.
We were given a subsidy to offset some of the cost, but that only lowered it to what we were paying previously for more comprehensive coverage. Basically, we were paying the same for less, and we saw a rise in our deductible. This was when there were still two other major providers providing at least a little competition for consumers.
Even if we pay the same for our monthly premium, it covers less. My young children won’t receive better care. We also have to now hope that we only have to visit a doctor while we are at home. Getting sick while we visit our family or, God forbid, being hospitalized could quickly start to get very costly since any visit to an out-of-network provider is quadruple the cost.
Remember that little routine procedure you had done as part of your in-office co-pay? That is no longer a benefit. Any lab-work, office procedure, emergency room visit, etc. is now set against your (likely high) deductible, making you responsible for all costs incurred during that once affordable visit. A $25 co-pay sick/injury visit can now quickly shoot up to $200 if they have to give you three stitches or order any blood tests.
If Anyone Gets Hurt, We Are Hosed
Let’s talk about those deductibles. Any “savings” from our “free” once-a-year well checks are worthless when faced with serious injury or hospitalizations with deductibles upwards of $7,000 per family. My personal in-network max is a little more than $14,000. The out-of-network max is too large a number for me to share without weeping through the computer and onto yours. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have $14,000 sitting around to pay for health care, and I certainly don’t have that if I’m not being given a break elsewhere.
And let’s be real: any family with children has the potential of injury and serious illness. My Facebook feed is filled with fellow friends in the parenting trenches posting sad pictures of their child’s latest sports injury.
Hillary Clinton has also promised to pile on by raising our taxes. As I look at managing my household and providing the best I can for my family, increased taxes and increased health-care costs are intolerable. Trump’s platform calls for open markets and open competition between states and insurers to drive down costs. This will also eliminate the penalty many of my friends have chosen to incur instead of paying for health-care premiums they can’t afford.
In this crazy election with two undesirable candidates, my choice is clear and unapologetic. My family, which is more important to me than propping up a corrupt woman’s ambition to make history, comes first. The bottom line is we simply can’t afford Hillary Clinton.