March 14, 2017

Most of delegation slams Trump healthcare plan after CBO report

Donald Trump speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via cc

“Inhumane” and “disastrous” were just two of the words used by Democrats in the New Mexico congressional delegation in response to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill to repeal large portions of the Affordable Care Act.

Monday, after the report’s release, some Democrats in the delegation mentioned Trump’s campaign promise to make sure a replacement plan would provide health insurance for more people than the Affordable Care Act.

In its analysis, the CBO found that 24 million fewer Americans would have health care by 2026 under the American Health Care Act. Within just a year of its implementation, 14 million fewer people would have health care, according to the analysis.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said the administration disagreed with the CBO report and that the report’s numbers “defy logic.” He also said the CBO report did not analyze the full healthcare plan.

Sen. Tom Udall called the plan “inhumane and a disaster for families, public health, our rural hospitals and the communities they serve.”

He went over the numbers as well.

“The Republican bill resorts to hocus-pocus when it comes to these families, claiming to provide care, but actually slashing an estimated $880 billion over the next 10 years, and cutting Medicaid for an estimated 14 million people by 2026, including the millions of people whose eligibility fluctuates from year to year,” Udall said. “Based on our early analysis, all of the 235,000 New Mexicans who gained health insurance under Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion could lose their care under the Republican plan.”

Sen. Martin Heinrich reacted as well, saying the numbers showed that “the Republican healthcare bill will be as disastrous as we expected.” He also tied the tax cuts in the bill to health care.

“The Republican plan would mean a school teacher pays more for their health care so that a hedge fund manager can get a six figure tax break. That’s unconscionable,” Heinrich said. “Having an economy that works for all means making sure Americans get the affordable health care they deserve.”

Rep. Steve Pearce, the lone Republican in the delegation, supports the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, spokeswoman Keeley Christensen said in a statement.

“Any repeal must protect and improve New Mexican families access to care and increase affordability for all,” she said. “The CBO score highlights the House Republican plan’s ability to reduce federal costs, but leaves questions about the plans ability to improve access, while reducing prices for New Mexican families.”

The two Democratic members of the House, like the Democratic senators, said they did not support the repeal effort.

Rep. Ben Ray Luján said the bill would shift the burden to state governments.

“At the hands of Congressional Republicans, states will be forced to increase taxes on their people, ration care, or drop people from their care,” Luján said. “The GOP Repeal bill will leave more people without access to coverage and breaks President Trump’s promise that ‘everyone would be covered’ and the guarantees of Speaker [Paul] Ryan that ‘no one would be worse off.’”

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham cited various groups that oppose the plan, including AARP and the American Medical Association, and mentioned the cuts to Medicaid.

“The impact of lost Medicaid funding will be a disaster in New Mexico, where more than 900,000 people rely on Medicaid for their health care,” she said. “Thousands of New Mexicans, including the poorest and sickest people, will return to Emergency Rooms for basic care, costing taxpayers more money and doing nothing to actually treat chronic illnesses.”