KRWG

In FOCUS: Researcher Says ACA Removal Would Be 'Devastating' For New Mexicans

Jun 30, 2017

Senate Republicans pushed back a vote on their proposed healthcare bill aimed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act until after the Fourth of July congressional recess.

In May, the Burrell Institute For Health Policy and Research released a report forecasting how New Mexico would be impacted by the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act https://bcomnm.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Potential-Impact-of-Repeal-of-Patient-Protection-and-Affordable-Care-Act-on-NM.pdf

Renée Despres, research fellow at the institute shared how a possible repeal of the current healthcare law would have on the state during KRWG-TV’s In Focus, “The impact would be devastating on New Mexico and New Mexicans.”

Despres says that the state has one of the largest populations of Medicaid in the entire country and that 270,000 New Mexicans have been helped by the Affordable Care Act, and those individuals stand to lose coverage immediately the current health care law is repealed.

The Congressional Budget Office released its score on the proposed GOP Bill under debate in the Senate https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/costestimate/52849-hr1628senate.pdf. That report says that Medicaid spending would be reduced 26 percent from current law and it forecasted that in 2026 22 million people would be without insurance.

Despres says that New Mexico has a big problem with substance abuse and those individuals receiving care may be impacted by a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. She says that under the Affordable Care Act 403,000 New Mexicans were able to receive additional mental health and substance abuse services. “They got more care for those problems, through the ACA,” says Despres.

Another issue that Despres says is a problem with the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act is prevention funding which she says includes half of the money for vaccines for children, including what she says provides money to do chronic disease management and education for diabetes and heart disease. Also, she says the prevention funding helps get people access to better food.

Despres says the funding would also reduce the funding currently in place to take on hospital-acquired infections and funding that may be used for public health emergencies.