Cassidy-Graham Bill Would Deeply Cut Health Coverage Funding for NM

This ACA repeal proposal drastically shifts costs and risks to states

PRESS RELEASE
August 24, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: James Jimenez (505) 244-9505, jjimenez@nmvoices.org

ALBUQUERQUE – A new Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bill would cut New Mexico’s federal funding for health coverage by nearly $1.3 billion by 2026, according to a new report by the Washington D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Congressional efforts to repeal the ACA have failed in recent months in large part because a majority of Americans oppose taking coverage from millions of people, raising costs for millions more, gutting Medicaid, and undermining consumer protections.

This has opened the door to another path: a transparent, bipartisan effort to strengthen our health care system without taking people’s coverage away or gutting Medicaid. The public supports this approach and bipartisan Senate hearings slated for September offer a first step forward.

Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham are reportedly working with the White House to block this emerging, bipartisan path and instead revive the ACA repeal effort by pushing their own version of a repeal bill, the Cassidy-Graham proposal.

“Despite claims to the contrary, the Cassidy-Graham plan is just another ACA repeal bill and would have the same devastating effects on New Mexico as the previous, failed repeal bills,” said James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children. “Like every other ACA repeal bill, it would take coverage from hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans and tens of millions nationwide.”

The Cassidy-Graham plan would eliminate the ACA Medicaid expansion, which covers hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans. It would also eliminate tax credits that help moderate-income New Mexicans afford marketplace coverage as well as subsidies that help low-income New Mexicans with out-of-pocket health costs like copays.

A far smaller block grant would replace both Medicaid expansion funding and marketplace subsidies, and the plan would also cap and deeply cut the rest of the Medicaid program just like previous Senate and House repeal bills. And, after 2026, the block grant would disappear entirely leaving New Mexicans high and dry.

“The public, experts across the political spectrum, and groups representing patients, hospitals, physicians, seniors, families, people with disabilities, and others have forcefully and repeatedly rejected this misguided approach, said Jimenez. “We need to focus on bipartisan solutions that strengthen – rather than weaken — our health care system.”

The CBPP report is available online at: https://www.cbpp.org/research/health/cassidy-graham-would-deeply-cut-and-drastically-redistribute-health-coverage-funding

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New Mexico Voices for Children is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advocating for policies to improve the health and well-being of New Mexico’s children, families and communities. Our fiscal policy work is funded by grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, the WK Kellogg Foundation, and the Working Poor Families Project.
625 Silver Ave. SW, Suite 195, Albuquerque, NM 87102; 505-244-9505 (p); www.nmvoices.org