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Americans fearful over health care as Trump unveils new changes

  • A new survey reveals Americans are most afraid of losing coverage for pre-existing conditions, a reduction in Medicare coverage for seniors or the elimination of the requirement for employers to offer coverage.
  • The results come as Trump signed an executive order on Thursday to ease rules around short-term health insurance plans and coverage through small businesses.

Americans are watching the health-care debate play out in Washington and are fearful about what the outcome could mean for their care and their wallets, according to a new survey by the Transamerica Center for Health Studies.

The three biggest fears uncovered were the loss of coverage for pre-existing conditions, which was cited by 42 percent of respondents; a reduction in Medicare coverage for seniors, at 31 percent; and the elimination of the mandate for employers to offer health-care coverage, with 30 percent.

Meanwhile, 57 percent of individuals surveyed said they do not feel the state or federal government should make it mandatory for them to purchase coverage.

The survey was conducted online in July and August and included over 4,600 individuals ages 18 to 64 years old.

The results come as President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday aimed at providing what he called "Obamacare relief." The order will ease rules regarding enrollment in short-term health insurance plans and health coverage offered by small businesses.

Transamerica's survey found that 81 percent of respondents are aware of the health-care debate in Washington. Of those, 92 percent indicated they are concerned about the changes and 59 percent said they are very or extremely concerned.

"What we've seen over the course of our five years of doing this survey is they want to kind of keep things the way they are," said Hector De La Torre, executive director of the Transamerica Center for Health Studies. "The biggest concern over time is the ability to pay or affordability."