President Trump dealt another major blow to the Affordable Care Act this week — axing subsidies to insurers that help with out-of-pocket expenses for low-income folks.
Local advocates for health care access are calling on Congress to take action to protect the payments.
At least one million Americans could lose health insurance coverage when the subsidies are cut, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Pamelya Herndon says it will be especially devastating for New Mexicans. She runs the Southwest Women’s Law Center.
“So we’ve sort of taken a step backwards to where we were before the Affordable Care Act was in place," Herndon explained, "When people were not able to get the healthcare that they needed for themselves and their families and where the emergency rooms became their healthcare.”
Over fifty thousand New Mexicans rely on individual health insurance plans purchased on the exchange, according to a recent report from America’s Health Insurance Plans.
The cost sharing subsidies are supposed to keep premiums low and insurance markets stable – and the CBO says cutting them will add more to the national deficit over time.
KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the McCune Charitable Foundation