Republicans Display Grassroots Resistance to Obamacare

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

Far from being “AstroTurf,” the Obamacare resistance is happening one person and one family at a time!

A great catch by Christopher Jacobs at The Federalist identifies a spontaneous Obamacare resistance movement. While the analysts try to claim that policy changes caused the rise in the number of uninsured Americans, the evidence suggests that more conservatives are refusing to have anything to do with Obamacare. And even more say they’re planning on dropping coverage.

Remember when Nancy Pelosi claimed that opposition to the Obamacare bill was only fake grassroots? She called it “AstroTurf.” Now people are willing to go uninsured rather than buy Obamacare. That is about as genuinely grassroots as you can get!

The Federalist asks, “Are Fewer Republicans Buying Health Insurance To Make A Political Statement?

A recent Commonwealth Fund analysis of survey data concluded that the number of uninsured Americans rose over the past two years, by the equivalent of approximately 4 million individuals. The Commonwealth researchers claim Trump administration policy decisions explain the decline […].

But the data themselves suggest another theory: Some Americans may have made a political decision to drop health coverage.


The Commonwealth researchers note that between 2016 and 2018, the uninsured rate among Republicans aged 19-64 nearly doubled, from 7.9 percent to 13.9 percent. By contrast, the uninsured rate among self-identified Democrats actually declined, albeit not in a statistically significant fashion.

The increase in the uninsured also occurred almost exclusively in states that did not expand Medicaid. From 2016 through 2018, the uninsured rate in those states by more than one-third, from 16.1 percent to 21.9 percent, while the rate in states that did expand Medicaid remained relatively constant. Given that the 18 states that have not expanded Medicaid under Obamacare are overwhelmingly southern and red ideologically, this data point confirms a political tinge regarding health coverage decisions.

In all, the uninsured data suggest that a small but measurable percentage of red-state Americans have decided to drop health coverage over the past two years. Because many of those individuals come from working-class backgrounds and could qualify for sizable subsidies, affordability may not have driven their decision […].

Read the entire post.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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