Senate Health Bill Would Harm Our Children

Jul 12, 2017

Commentary: As Congress takes a break from their work, I am deeply concerned over the impact that Trumpcare may have on children in  New Mexico.   As a teacher, I have seen the ravages of lack of health care for my students.  Many of the issues that affect our students from engaging in school is the fact that their medical needs are not being met, lacking immunizations and consistent medical and dental care.  New Mexico has a low ranking on child well-being.  Since the implementation of ACA, there has been better healthcare access, with more children getting the care that keeps them healthy in school.  This demonstrates in higher test scores and better graduation rates.  It seems that Congress is more interested in supporting the health industry on the backs of our students.  

The ACA was not a perfect program, and it was meant to be fixed as physicians and patients came up against obstacles.   Congress did not follow through, and instead tried to vote it out of existence, too many times to mention. We do seem to be losing ground on issues that we consider rights not entitlements.  

Who else will it affect?  Our Schools!!!  Las Cruces Public Schools is proud of having a nurse in every school and having a School Based Health Center at every one of our 6 high schools.  Our schools depend on the ACA to help cover costs for our students and to promote Staff and Student Wellness.  Prevention is the key to good health, and families depend on Medicaid for healthcare.  The cuts that are being considered would be devastating to our students, their families, and their success in school. 

I am grateful to Senators Udall and Heinrich for standing with the families of New Mexico, and we ask them to speak for our students that have benefited by the Affordable Care Act.