Newly insured Kentuckians worry about President Trump's upcoming rollback of Obamacare

Posted at 9:08 AM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 09:15:05-05

As President Donald Trump gathered health insurers at the White House Monday to discuss how to roll back Obamacare, newly insured Kentuckians are starting to worry about what comes next.

Many proponents point to Kentucky as a success story for the embattled health care program. Since the Affordable Care Act became law in March 2010, some areas of the Bluegrass State have dropped from 20 percent to 5 percent uninsured, ABC News reports. Much of this improvement is credited to the law’s Medicaid expansion that has provided nearly a half-million low-income Kentuckians with coverage since 2013.

“If I didn’t have health insurance, I wouldn’t be alive today,” said Leah Briemer, of Lawrenceburg, who is fighting breast cancer. “I’m on an every-three-week regimen of medications … that’s about $40,000 a month … so I’m very concerned about the issues that are taking place right now.”

ABC News reports that Obamacare’s success in Kentucky is due to widespread outreach programs run by people like Kelly Oller. A Trump voter, Oller is an “unlikely evangelist for Obamacare” who signed up more than 1,000 people in the last three and a half years. She hopes Trump can fix the program’s high premiums.

“I thought he was looking to repeal it to make it better, to make it more affordable and to make premiums hopefully go down and be balanced,” Oller told ABC News. “I don’t know what’s going to happen now.”

What comes next is anybody’s guess as Trump has been vague on specifics, even at Monday’s meeting. He told the insurers that he will unveil his “fantastic plan” soon.

"The new plan will be a great plan for the patients, for the people, and hopefully for the companies," Trump said, promising costs will come down. "It's going to be a very competitive plan.”

Read more about Kentucky’s experience with Obamacare here.