Election 2016: HME providers cast their lot with Trump

Friday, September 16, 2016

YARMOUTH, Maine – HME providers typically lean Republican when it comes to politics and that holds true for the 2016 presidential election—even if some are aren’t overly enthusiastic about the party’s candidate.

Sixty-four percent of poll respondents report they favor Donald Trump, saying the billionaire businessman would turn the economy around.

“Mr. Trump is a businessman first, so I think he will lead our nation in a better direction financially,” said one poll respondent. “Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, has never created a job in her life and her attempt at healthcare reform as First Lady was unpleasant at best.”

Respondent John Reed of Walnut Medical Services in Johnstown, Pa., agreed.

“I am hopeful that a new set of eyes looking at health care from a business perspective can lead to innovative solutions,” he said.

Other respondents disagree, saying Trump isn’t the most empathetic of candidates.

“Well, let’s see…Trump is on record making fun and mocking an individual with a disability in a public speech,” said one respondent, who was among the 24% who said they would vote for Hillary Clinton. “I highly doubt he will have the needs of the disabled as a priority.”

Clinton, they say, cares about people.

“Clinton has people at the center of her policies,” said Jane Holt of Cajane Healthworks in San Francisco. “Trump has not expressed any support for medical care.”

The majority of poll respondents, 56%, identified themselves as Republicans, with 18% saying they are Democrats and 26% saying they don’t belong to either of the two major parties.

Several poll respondents expressed dismay that the poll focused only on the major party candidates. Also on the ballot in most states is Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who earned one vote; and in all states Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who earned several votes.

“Despite some reservations, I am voting for Gary Johnson,” said one respondent. “I hope that his respect for the free market will help all companies, including HME.”

The poll highlights the strange dichotomy in which providers find themselves this election year: They are businesspeople and, therefore, sensitive to the burdens placed on small businesses by the government, but they depend on that same government for their livelihood.

“It’s strange to see so many people in this industry who are voting for the side that favors smaller government and cuts in our budget, along with no entitlement programs,” said Lisa Wells of Get Social Consulting. “At the same time, these people are complaining about reduced reimbursement. You make your living off an entitlement program, Medicare, and yet you don’t think others deserve to receive entitlements—especially those you use your products? How does that work?”