by Sarah Trujillo, KUNM FM
March 9, 2017

Republicans in Congress have released their plan for replacing the Affordable Care Act and children’s advocates are worried about low-income kids in New Mexico.

There are over 300,000 low-income kids who get health care coverage under the Medicaid program here, according to the federal government.  The Republicans’ draft changes to the program would cap federal Medicaid funds at their 2016 levels in each state.

Bill Jordan says that doesn’t leave any good options for kids here. He’s the Senior Policy Advisor & Government Relations Officer for New Mexico Voices For Children.

“Either fewer kids are going to get care, or the kids who are getting care are going to get less care and both of those are really painful, terrible choices,” Jordan said.

Jordan does say there’s a third option: New Mexico could pick up the slack. That’s highly unlikely. A big chunk of the budget, more than 15 percent, goes to Medicaid already and the state has yet to recover from the Great Recession. Plus, we’re struggling with a budget crisis right now.

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