Texas Voters Say 'Obamacare' Influencing Their Vote

For some voters, personal experience with the health care system shapes their view.

“I think it’s probably the main issue for me.”

Linda Cornetti is a writer in Plano. One of her nephews was brain damaged in an accident and another has a mental illness.

Her daughter, on the other hand, just has minor medical problems like allergies. But she still can’t find affordable insurance on her own.

Cornetti says her daughter will be helped in 2014, when the law goes fully into effect.

But that’s a big “if.”

“If Mitt Romney does in fact make one of his first orders of business repealing the Affordable Healthcare Act, then we’re set back, I think, decades.”

Other voters agree, saying a vote for Obama is really a vote to protect his health care law, especially after it barely survived a review by the Supreme Court.

Robert Rawson lives in Flower Mound, north of Fort Worth.

He says he’s voting for Obama and the health law not because of his own insurance situation, but because covering everyone is the right thing to do.

“I’m not saying everybody needs to get tummy tucks, but when we live in the richest country in the world and somewhere between a fifth and a third of our people are not getting adequate access to the kinds of healthcare needed for them to live fully productive lives – that’s not only a practical absurdity, it’s a moral offense.”

But Alice Zents dislikes the law. She works part-time at a university in the Rio Grande Valley.

Zents says Obamacare will push the country in the wrong direction and that’s why Romney has her vote.

“I believe the cost of insurance will go up, it has already! That’s a response of the insurers to pressures from the law. It resulted from a disruption in the way they did business, which I think was part of the intent.”

Zents says government-subsidized health care should be only for the truly poor and needy.

“Most of us should be able to manage those expenses responsibly for our families.”

Because of the Electoral College system, Texas voters won’t play a big role in deciding the presidential race. But voters here will still weigh in on health issues.

If Obama wins, it will be up to a newly-elected batch of state legislators to decide how to implement Obamacare in Texas. In particular, they’ll decide early next year whether the state should draw down federal funding to expand Medicaid for the poor.

This story was informed by sources in KUHF's Public Insight Network ®. To become a news source for KUHF, go to www.kuhf.org/pin.

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