NM advocates, patients push against Obamacare replacement

A coalition of healthcare advocacy and poverty rights organizations wants Congress to dump the Republican-backed replacement for the federal Affordable Care Act. On Wednesday, Parents Reaching Out held a press conference in Albuquerque encouraging people to call their representatives and senators to urge them to oppose the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which the federal House of Representatives may vote on as early as this Thursday. “We are concerned about upcoming Medicaid cuts and the potential devastation to our community,” said Lisa Rossignol, the healthcare liaison at Parents Reaching Out, which organized the Wednesday press conference. The bill, backed by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, would end the Medicaid expansion under the ACA by 2020. It would also cut money to Medicaid, the federal healthcare program for the poor, by $370 billion over 10 years, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Children’s uninsured rate at new low

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – More children in New Mexico and around the nation now have health coverage. According to a new report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, the rate of uninsured children dropped to a historic low of six percent nationally in 2014, the year the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect. Abuko Estrada, staff attorney with the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, cites the state’s decision to expand Medicaid under the ACA as a significant factor for the increased coverage of children in the state. He says the move helped create what he calls a “welcome mat effect” when adults went looking for insurance. “Because their parents were going to see what options they had to get coverage under the Affordable Care Act, we were able to capture some of those kids that were missing,” he says.