KUNM

“Sigh Of Relief” For Local Opponents Of Repeal And Replace

Jul 28, 2017

Health advocates in New Mexico are urging lawmakers to improve Medicaid and the insurance markets now that Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have failed. 

Over 180,000 people in New Mexico signed up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and nearly half the state’s population is now covered by Medicaid.

So health advocates here are celebrating that Obamacare wasn’t repealed.

"It was a huge sigh of relief," said Barbara Webber, director of the policy group Health Action New Mexico. She said there are still serious problems to work through here—from rising premiums to problems with the state’s Medicaid budget and that New Mexico is not on solid health care footing, yet.

"I think we’re at a really critical point, because we have an opportunity to really move forward at the federal level and perhaps at the state level in a bipartisan way," she said.

There are still deep cuts to Medicaid in the proposed federal budget, and the state Human Services Department is considering cutting benefits and services to Medicaid recipients here to save money.