KUNM

New Health Bill Is A Bad Deal For NM Poor, Group Says

Jul 13, 2017

Poverty advocates say the Republicans’ new plan to repeal and replace Obamacare would leave many low-income people in New Mexico without coverage.

The new senate bill offers some more help to people looking to buy insurance, and keeps taxes on the wealthy that pay for health care programs. But it also keeps cuts to Medicaid in place.

"New Mexicans are still losing under this bill," said Abuko Estrada, a staff attorney at the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty. He says for New Mexico, the Medicaid cuts are especially problematic. Nearly half the state’s population gets their health coverage from the program, and Medicaid pays for over 70 percent of new births here.

"If it passes it’s going to be tough for New Mexico to move forward. We just can’t afford to take those cuts and still be able to maintain coverage levels," Estrada said.

The new bill is already facing opposition from some Senate Republicans. New Mexico’s Senators, who are both Democrats, say they will not support the bill, as do all other Democrats in the Senate.