January 04, 2017

Udall Votes 'No' on Reckless Plan to Repeal Health Care for Millions of Americans

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall delivered the following statement after voting "no" on a motion to start debate on S. Con. Res. 3, the measure that would repeal critical parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Today's 51-48 vote was the first of several procedural steps the Senate will take as part of the Republicans' disastrous effort to repeal the ACA.

"Since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, people from across New Mexico have called, written and stopped me on the street to tell me how relieved they are that they can finally see a doctor without worrying about going broke. Many of them said that before reform, the only time they could get health care was in the emergency room. The positive effect on the state is undeniable: since 2010, over 360,000 New Mexicans have gained health care through Medicaid and the ACA, and the number of people who lack health insurance has dropped by 44 percent. At the same time, while much of the rest of the state's economy has declined, the health care field has become an economic driver, accounting for seven of the top 10 fastest-growing job categories.

"The biggest problem with the Republicans' plan for health care is that they have no plan -- the Republicans would repeal the ACA, but they have no proposal to replace it. And that spells disaster for New Mexico families and our economy because repeal would throw the health care system into chaos -- all while giving wealthy insurance executives and corporations billions of dollars in tax breaks. The richest 1 percent would get an average of $33,000 in 2017 alone, while tens of thousands of New Mexicans and millions of Americans would lose their insurance, small rural hospitals would lose millions of dollars in compensation for providing care, and premiums would skyrocket. As a rural state, New Mexico already faces health care challenges, like a shortage of doctors and nurses and specialized health care providers. The answer to improving New Mexicans' health is not to move backward.

"I voted no on repeal today to protect the care our families rely on and that fuels our economy. And I will keep fighting to ensure we never go back to the time when insurance companies were in charge and millions of families were one illness away from bankruptcy."