Most of the roughly 280,000 Virginians who now have health insurance thanks to Virginia’s Medicaid expansion live in cities and counties won by President Trump, according to a new analysis by the Virginia Mercury.
The analysis shows that Trump won 42 of the 60 cities and counties where more than 5% of residents have gained health insurance under the expanded program.
Deeply conservative southwestern Virginia has witnessed especially high rates of enrollment, with some localities seeing 8% of residents sign up for health insurance under the program.
While Medicaid expansion was largely pushed through by state Democrats, experts are not surprised that some of the biggest beneficiaries have been those living in Republican areas.
Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington told the Mercury that “Medicaid expansion is extraordinarily beneficial for people living in those counties that supported Trump.”
This newfound health coverage would go away, of course, if President Trump gets his way and repeals the Affordable Care Act, something he’s been promising to do since launching his campaign in 2015.
While a handful of Virginia Republicans voted for the expansion, most join Trump in his opposition to the ACA and Medicaid expansion, despite the fact that a repeal of the healthcare law would directly harm their constituents.
For more details and additional analysis, check out the original story over at the Mercury.