During her fourth sit down conversation with NPR, Jamie Ruppert said she has no regrets about voting for Donald Trump, even though she harbors concerns over health care - one of the main reasons she handed Trump her vote in the first place. After giving birth to her daughter in July, Ruppert was left with hundreds of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses, even though she is covered through her husband's employer.
"The idea of Obamacare was great, but when I started seeing the premiums people were getting quoted, no, I wasn't a fan of it," says Ruppert.
She thought Trump, being a businessman, would have better luck negotiating a better deal for young people.
Ruppert says she knows young people who refused to sign up for Affordable Care Act [ACA] — also known as Obamacare — policies because they found them too expensive. Instead, she says, they chose to pay a penalty of at least $695 at tax time.
Ruppert's mother, Linda McDermott, also voiced health care concerns to NPR. While she voted for Trump largely due to his views on immigration, she is worried that her own health insurance options will become unaffordable. McDermott beat breast cancer in 1996, but in 2009 she lost coverage from her husband's employer-sponsored insurance when he turned 65.
"I enrolled in the Affordable Care Act in January 2016, and in March, I had developed a basal cell carcinoma," she says. The insurance came just in time to pay most of the $7,000 cost to treat the skin cancer. McDermott says Obamacare has been good for her.
Health care wasn't so much on her mind at election time, but she recalls what Trump had promised back then:
"Trump sang a good song, you know, 'We're going to repeal and replace. It will be done simultaneously, you know, it will be done within the same day — maybe within the same hour,' " McDermott remembers.
Both women hope the ACA will hang in there long enough for McDermott to be eligible for Medicare in a few years. In the meantime, they have not given up on Trump.
"I don't regret voting for Trump. I regret, maybe, believing as much and putting as much faith into a politician," says Ruppert. But Trump still has more than three years in office — and she is waiting before delivering a final judgment on her candidate's performance.