Health

In Republican Stronghold, Worries About End of Obamacare

In this March 28, 2012 file photo, supporters of health care reform rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on the final day of arguments regarding the health care law signed by President Barack Obama. Nearly five years after Obama signed his health care overhaul into law, the Supreme Court will again get to decide its fate.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
In this March 28, 2012 file photo, supporters of health care reform rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on the final day of arguments regarding the health care law signed by President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

 

(Bloomberg) – In Georgia’s Gwinnett County where Republicans rule, few really love Obamacare. Few want to lose it either.

In parts of the county, about 1 in 8 people get insurance from the federal health-care program, making Gwinnett, near Atlanta, one of the biggest per capita users of the Affordable Care Act. The coverage is advertised in road signs along busy Jimmy Carter Boulevard near Lilburn. It’s the reason enrollment has dropped at low-cost clinics in Snellville and Norcross. It’s seeped into the Asian, Latino and African immigrant communities, becoming a mainstay for retail workers, contractors and the downsized.

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to rule on a case that could make Obamacare’s private insurance unaffordable in Georgia and at least 33 other states, Gwinnett, where all five of the county commissioners belong to the Republican Party that has been leading the fight against the health care law, illustrates how for many the program has become a fact of life. Obamacare is both groused about and accepted, like taxes and the weather.

“I couldn’t buy insurance for myself after my husband retired, not until Obamacare,” said Ghada Nadhan, 63, an assistant manager of a food store who immigrated from Syria more than two decades ago. “Now I am afraid.”

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