July 27, 2017

Udall, Heinrich Blast GOP Schemes to Slash Health Care Coverage for New Mexicans

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich took to the Senate floor to give back-to-back speeches decrying the latest effort by Republicans and President Trump to try to cancel insurance on hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans and as many as 32 million Americans by repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

Watch both speeches here: https://www.facebook.com/MartinHeinrich/.

Text of Udall's speech is available here: https://www.scribd.com/document/354887627/07-27-2017-Health-Care-Floor-Debate
Text of Heinrich's speech is available here: https://www.heinrich.senate.gov/newsroom/statements-and-speeches/heinrich-blast-gop-schemes-to-slash-health-care-coverage-for-new-mexicans?

The Senate is on the third day of debate over repeal and replace, yet there is still no specific bill or plan. In fact, although Republicans have been saying they will pursue a shorter repeal bill, which they're calling "skinny repeal," it's still unclear what that bill would contain and when it will get a vote?.

According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of an early draft of the "skinny repeal," the bill would cancel health insurance on 16 million Americans and raise premium costs by 20 percent if it became law. But it's more likely that the bill will be changed in conference negotiations with the House. This would happen behind closed doors — continuing the process of hiding the repeal and replace plans from scrutiny — and almost certainly reopen the effort to cut Medicaid. Almost half of New Mexicans rely on Medicaid for health care, and 265,000 would lose care almost immediately if the federal government reduced funding for the program in New Mexico.

In their speeches, Udall and Heinrich said they want to focus on solutions to improve on the gains we've made. They made the case for enabling hundreds of thousands New Mexicans to keep the health care they depend on, including Medicaid. Many of those New Mexicans are working one or two jobs and simply can't afford or don't have employer-provided health insurance.