CNN's Gupta Touts 'Lifelong Conservative' Who Supports ObamaCare

Once Congress came into session and the process of planning for an ObamaCare repeal actually began, it didn't take long for CNN to try to undermine the effort by finding individual examples of Republicans to highlight who support ObamaCare in spite of voting for Donald Trump and presumably taking a conservative view on other issues.

On Friday's CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello, CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta filed a report devoted to a "life-long conservative," Bob Ruscoe, who voted for Donald Trump, even though he acquired health insurance through ObamaCare a couple of years ago, who felt conflicted about whether to vote for Trump or Hillary Clinton for his own personal interests.

Here's Gupta: "Ruscoe credits ObamaCare with profoundly changing his health, And because of that, this lifelong conservative wrestled for the first time with the idea of voting Democrat."

At 9:34 a.m. ET, Costello set up the report: "Not all Trump supporters think rolling back ObamaCare is a good idea, though. CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke with one Trump voter who not only supports ObamaCare, but needs it desperately."

After Gupta began by recalling that Ruscoe had been unable to purchase health insurance because he was 100 pounds overweight, there came a clip of the CNN correspondent asking him what he thought of ObamaCare when he first heard about it:

SANJAY GUPTA: What did you think?

BOB RUSCOE, SUPPORTS OBAMACARE: I thought it was a good idea, even though I'm a conservative.

After Ruscoe was seen explaining how relieved he was when he managed to sign up for ObamaCare, Gupta then informed viewers that he voted for Trump in spite of the GOP candidate's promise to repeal the program.

Gupta wondered: "Look, you voted for Donald Trump, who promised to repeal something that you're very much benefiting from. Again, just how do you explain that to people?"

Ruscoe was seen explaining that he thought Trump would better for the economy, followed by a clip of the President-elect promising to repeal ObamaCare. Gupta then warned:

That repealing ObamaCare would be good for the economy, it's a common refrain, but the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget suggests the opposite. They say fully repealing ObamaCare would cost roughly $350 billion over 10 years and would increase the number of uninsured by 23 million.

Gupta soon further undermined the idea of repeal as he continued: "Truth is, some of the states that most benefited from ObamaCare had a majority who voted for Trump -- like Ruscoe's home state of Florida. In fact, Florida has the highest percentage of enrollees in the nation. One in 10 Floridians under 65 signed on for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act."

He then added: "Ruscoe credits ObamaCare with profoundly changing his health, And because of that, this lifelong conservative wrestled for the first time with the idea of voting Democrat."

Ruscoe then explained: "If I'd have voted for what I thought was strictly best for me, I would have voted for her because the health care plan gives us peace of mind -- medical screening to stop something before it gets worse."

The pre-recorded piece concluded:

GUPTA: Ruscoe says he has no regrets about voting for President-elect Trump, but he would tell him this:

RUSCOE: Each day we face the possibility of losing our home, going into bankruptcy. One thing could come in  The health care act has taken that worry away.

Gupta then appeared live to explain that the Trump voter had theorized that ObamaCare would not be totally repealed under Republicans as he ended up deciding to vote for the GOP candidate.

Although the report claimed that Ruscoe was unable to purchase health insurance because he was 100 pounds overweight, which in most cases can be prevented or reversed with lifestyle changes, Dr. Gupta did not delve into the possibility that people who are overweight might be motivated to improve their health by losing weight first before expecting to acquire insurance rather than having it supplied without having to make an effort to choose a healthy lifestyle first.

Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Friday, January 6, CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello:

CAROL COSTELLO: Not all Trump supporters think rolling back ObamaCare is a good idea, though. CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke with one Trump voter who not only supports ObamaCare, but needs it desperately.

BOB RUSCOE, TRUMP VOTER: They wouldn't sell it to me at any price. It was just not -- but that was -- I was overweight. So I was a risk.

SANJAY GUPTA: Back in 2013, Bob Ruscoe -- then 53 years old -- was a familiar story in America. Too familiar. He was more than 100 pounds overweight, at risk of heart disease and diabetes. He was also self-employed, and no company wanted to offer him health care insurance. He was considered too big a risk.

GUPTA: Was that tough to go uninsured?

RUSCOE: It doesn't make you warm and fuzzy, but I didn't like it, but it was the reality of the situation

GUPTA: When did you first hear about the Affordable Care Act?

RUSCOE: It was all over the news.

GUPTA: What did you think?

RUSCOE: I thought it was a good idea, even though I'm a conservative.

GUPTA: So when did you first sign up for ObamaCare?

RUSCOE: When it was first available. It was October, I remember, and I wanted to be covered because it's important.

GUPTA: And as a result, starting in 2014, Bob was able to get insurance after subsidies. It was finally within reach, and a big relief.

RUSCOE: September was "I can't wait till October." It's the feeling of coming out of the rain, if you will. You're out there to the breezes. You know, you do all you can, you get healthy, you try to be safe, but there's a certain amount of fate that's just out there. So, to have coverage, it was "whew.."

GUPTA: Which makes what happened next all the more surprising.

PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP: Repeal and replace

GUPTA: Look, you voted for Donald Trump, who promised to repeal something that you're very much benefiting from. Again, just how do you explain that to people?

RUSCOE: I did what I thought was correct for the overall good of the country. I think economic strength cures a lot of things -- people working, making decent money, that certainly helps out. I'd rather not need the subsidies. I'd rather be working.

TRUMP CLIP #1: We are repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

TRUMP CLIP #2: We can reverse the stagnation and usher in a period of true opportunity and growth.

GUPTA: That repealing ObamaCare would be good for the economy, it's a common refrain, but the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget suggests the opposite. They say fully repealing ObamaCare would cost roughly $350 billion over 10 years and would increase the number of uninsured by 23 million.

GUPTA: If he does repeal ObamaCare, as he's promised to do, what is that going to mean for you?

RUSCOE: No insurance.

GUPTA: No insurance. That was a big problem for you before.

RUSCOE: I wasn't happy about it.

GUPTA: Truth is, some of the states that most benefited from ObamaCare had a majority who voted for Trump -- like Ruscoe's home state of Florida. In fact, Florida has the highest percentage of enrollees in the nation. One in 10 Floridians under 65 signed on for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Ruscoe credits ObamaCare with profoundly changing his health, And because of that, this lifelong conservative wrestled for the first time with the idea of voting Democrat.

RUSCOE: If I'd have voted for what I thought was strictly best for me, I would have voted for her because the health care plan gives us peace of mind -- medical screening to stop something before it gets worse.

GUPTA: Ruscoe says he has no regrets about voting for President-elect Trump, but he would tell him this:

RUSCOE: Each day we face the possibility of losing our home, going into bankruptcy. One thing could come in  The health care act has taken that worry away.

GUPTA: Well, Carol, I think you can hear just how agonizing a decision this was for Bob Ruscoe. It really came down to two things for him. One is, "Okay, I've heard repeal over and over again, but I'm not quite sure it's going to happen. Maybe there will be many parts of the Affordable Care Act that will be still in place."

The other thing was, Bob believed he was voting for an economy President, and, if the economy improved under Trump, perhaps he wouldn't need the subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. That's how he pieced it together. It wasn't easy, but it's a little bit of insight into one voter's mind.

COSTELLO: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you.


Please support NewsBusters today! [a 501(c)(3) non-profit production of the Media Research Center]

DONATE

Or, book travel through MRC’s Travel Discounts Program! MRC receives a rebate for each booking when you use our special codes.

BOOK NOW
NBDaily 2016 Presidential Congress Economy Health Care Medical Insurance Conservatives & Republicans CNN CNN Newsroom Video Carol Costello Sanjay Gupta Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Barack Obama