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Locals voice concern over possible 'Obamacare' repeal

Debbie Hipps, who lives near Richmond Hill, voted for Donald Trump but says she's forever grateful to President Obama.

"The best thing Obama ever did was create this for us," Hipps said. "The people who work part-time, can't get insurance."

A year-and-a-half ago, Hipps had gastric bypass surgery. Her coverage she received by signing up for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act placed her in a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan that paid 100 percent.

"The surgery costs around $26,000," Hipps said. She had already paid her $500 deductible.

Hipps works part-time as a cashier at Dillard's. The store doesn't offer insurance to part-time and some full-time employees, said Hipps.

She's lost 130 pounds and has kept it off. Her concern is President-elect Trump and the Republican-led Congress will reduce coverage when the current plan is replaced.

"It scares me, honestly. It scares me because I'm afraid he's going to take it completely away," Hipps said.

RELATED | Congress OKs first step to dismantle 'Obamacare'

Her current monthly premium $25.80.

Ashley Jones, a 26-year-old nanny, signed up for Obamacare last November.

"My fear is losing it," said Jones, who is studying to be a phlebotomist and an EMT.

"I have to have my insurance for college," Jones said, who was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) as a teen. The medicine she takes would cost $1,000 a month without insurance, she said.

"With me going to school, that's something I really have to have," Jones said.

Jackie Kiger is a senior lawyer at Pisgah Legal, and she said the non-profit is getting a large number of calls from people who want to enroll in healthcare coverage. She said 369,00 people in North Carolina, as of December 2016, had enrolled for healthcare under Obamacare. She said December 15 saw the highest number of healthcare plans ever purchased in a day with 670,000 nationwide signing up.

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