Governor Martinez and the Human Services Department (HSD) are moving forward on a proposal that would create unnecessary obstacles to healthcare by charging higher fees to patients that get Medicaid.
HSD’s proposal requires low-income patients be charged co-pays each time they receive medical care – including for prescriptions, surgeries and other doctor visits. The proposal specifically targets children in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), working disabled individuals, and adults living near poverty, with co-pays that range anywhere from $2 to $8 for each prescription drug to $50 for hospital care. Co-pays for “non-preferred” prescriptions and “non-emergency” use of the emergency room are also proposed for all Medicaid patients regardless of income.
This idea was rejected by HSD’s own panel of stakeholders and experts last summer. It has also received strong criticism from various community organizations, healthcare provider associations, and patients through both written and public comment.
The proposal should be withdrawn because:
- A wide body of research shows that co-pays, even in “nominal” amounts, prevent people from getting needed medical care.
- Costs add up quickly for families and children with multiple health needs – especially for people with disabilities or chronic health conditions.
- The costs often shift to healthcare providers that choose to treat patients when they cannot afford the co-pay.
- Our healthcare system and state budget will see long-term negative effects due to increased administrative costs and increased use of more expensive healthcare services.
Please call and urge your networks to contact Governor Martinez – (505) 476-2200 – and tell her to stop the Medicaid co-pay proposal. We should be making Medicaid better, not creating barriers for our families to get the healthcare they need!
The U.S. Senate will vote very soon – likely next week – on its version of a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It’s called the Better Care Reconciliation Act but it won’t provide better care at all. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 22 million Americans will lose coverage if the bill becomes law.
- Pay More For Less – The bill will make low- and middle- income New Mexicans spend more for less healthcare coverage. It will increase out of pocket costs, while reducing tax credits that help people buy private insurance.
- New Mexicans Will Lose Healthcare Coverage – Medicaid expansion will be phased out starting in 2021. This will jeopardize healthcare coverage for 260,000 low-income adults in New Mexico.
- Medicaid Funding Will Be Slashed – The rest of the Medicaid budget will be cut by shifting the program to a per capita cap system â€“ giving New Mexico a set amount to spend per person rather than a federal match for actual state costs for Medicaid. If costs grow faster than the state’s set amount, New Mexico will have to make even deeper cuts to Medicaid services and eligibility for children, people with disabilities, and seniors.
- Consumer Protections Will Be Gutted – States will be allowed to opt-out of covering “essential health benefits” (doctors, prescriptions, maternity and newborn care, and mental healthcare).
- Huge Tax Breaks For The Wealthy – The bill will make all of these devastating cuts to healthcare to give tax breaks to the wealthy and big corporations.
What Can You Do? Senators Heinrich and Udall are fighting hard to protect our healthcare. However, you can call 6 key Senators in neighboring states who are considering voting for the bill. Please call them THIS WEEK and tell them to vote NO on the Better Care Reconciliation Act!
Senator Jeff Flake (AZ): (202) 224-4521
Senator John McCain (AZ): (202) 224-2235
Senator Cory Gardner (CO): (202) 224-5941
Senator Dean Heller (NV): (202) 224-6244
Senator Mike Lee (UT): (202) 224-5444
Senator Ted Cruz (TX): (202) 224-5922
STOP the Attack on New Mexico’s Healthcare System! Ask Congressman Pearce to Vote NO Against the Healthcare Repeal Bill
Friends, Congress is about to make a critical vote on healthcare — This Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on the Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This bill recklessly endangers New Mexico’s healthcare system by making it even more expensive for middle class and working families to afford private healthcare coverage and by dismantling Medicaid, which covers more than 900,000 New Mexicans.
- More than 145,000 New Mexicans will lose their healthcare coverage – including 75,000 in Congressman Pearce’s district alone – mostly due to massive cuts to Medicaid, including rolling back the Medicaid Expansion and cutting federal funding support for Medicaid.
- Thousands of jobs could be lost statewide! Medicaid directly supports over 50,000 jobs in New Mexico while also providing a major payment source for our hospitals, clinics and nursing homes.
- The bill caps Medicaid funding, which will force our state to ration care or make deep cuts to healthcare coverage for New Mexicans who need it the most – children, the elderly, people with disabilities and low-income adults.
- The bill takes healthcare away from the poor while giving tax breaks to the rich, providing $275 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest households over the next ten years.
Congressman Pearce MUST hear from you TODAY! Please call his D.C. office at (202) 225-2365 and ask him to take a stand to protect our healthcare by voting NO for the healthcare repeal bill. The call will only take a minute.
Your action is needed urgently – the House and Senate just sent a tax package today to Governor Martinez to help avert more deep budget cuts that would further slash funding for our schools, healthcare and public safety agencies. New Mexico is facing school closures and further reduction to classrooms and teachers, the elimination of certain Medicaid services for low-income families and people with disabilities, and a worsening public safety crisis from under-resourcing our courts and other key agencies.
House Bill 202 makes responsible and overdue changes to the tax code, including to level the playing field for small businesses by taxing out of state internet sellers, close up tax loopholes for certain industries, and update the gas tax so the funds can be invested into our roads.
Please call the Governor’s office at 505-476-2200. Ask her to sign HB202, and not to veto any part of it. Let her know that New Mexicans will not accept more budget cuts and that you support this tax package as a fair solution that does not hurt our families. It will only take a minute to leave a message.
NMCLP took the fight against wage theft to the courtroom today with a lawsuit against the NM Department of Workforce Solutions.
The lawsuit was filed by four workers who were victims of wage theft and workers’ rights organizations El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, NM Comunidades en Accion y de Fé (CAFÉ), Organizers in the Land of Enchantment (OLÉ), and Somos Un Pueblo Unido. Elizabeth Wagoner of the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty (NMCLP) is lead counsel on a legal team that includes NMCLP’s Gail Evans, Tim Davis, Santa Fe attorney Daniel Yohalem and Gabriela Ibañez Guzmán of Somos Un Pueblo Unido.
Read the filed complaint HERE.
New Mexico’s healthcare system is facing a crisis due to budget cuts for Medicaid. Over 875,000 people in our state get healthcare coverage through Medicaid and the program supports over 50,000 jobs in New Mexico.
Medicaid lost significant federal match funds this year – $4 for every $1 in state funding cuts – losing over $265 million in federal funds that would have gone into our economy to support patient care and thousands of jobs. Soon, the Governor and Legislature will be going into a special session to cut even more of the state budget due to revenue shortfalls.
The budget shortfalls have already cut Medicaid to the bone – resulting in lower payments to healthcare providers that are expected to cause job loss, intensify workforce shortages and make it even harder for Medicaid patients to find doctors and services. The next step will be to begin cutting Medicaid healthcare benefits and charge higher fees for low-income patients – changes that will cause people to lose coverage and reduce access to care.
The Governor and these legislators below are making critical decisions about the budget and MUST hear from you by next Thursday, September 22. Please call them today – This will only take 5 minutes. For each call, leave a short message with the Governor’s staff, the legislators or a voicemail that includes your name, phone number, and an ask to not cut Medicaid.
|Governor Martinez||(505) 476-2200|
|Rep. Larry Larrañaga||(505) 821-4948|
|Rep. Jason Harper||(505) 554-7970|
|Rep. Patricia Lundstrom||(505) 722-2980|
|Sen. John Arthur Smith||(575) 546-8546|
|Sen. Stuart Ingle||(575) 356-3088|
The NM Center on Law and Poverty is joining with our partners MAZON and FRAC to oppose this harmful provision! Please consider having your organization sign on to this statement.
H.R. 5003 – The Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 – passed out of the House Education and Workforce Committee on May 18. The bill includes very harmful provisions that would hurt food insecure children. Among the worst is a proposal for a three-state block grant of school meal programs.
MAZON is strongly encouraging our partners to openly and vigorously oppose the block granting provision and engage others in their networks and communities to join in the fight.
FRAC along with national, state and local partners is launching an intensive nationwide campaign against these efforts to block grant the school meal programs, or any other child nutrition program, during this reauthorization process.
It’s time to act!
Step 1: Sign your organization onto this statement opposing the block grant provisions included in H.R. 5003.
Step 2: Share the statement widely and ask partners to sign on. Our goal is to have 2,500 organizations signed on over the next several weeks.
Step 3: Join FRAC for a webinar titled National Call to Action – Oppose House Efforts to Block Grant and Weaken the Child Nutrition Programs, Monday, June 6 at 2:30PM Eastern Time. Register here. Join leaders in the House of Representatives and thousands of organizations in the campaign launch to learn and strategize about upcoming actions. To learn more about the House CNR Bill and the block grant provision, read FRAC’s latest analysis of the bill.
Governor Martinez MUST sign Senate Bill 42 by this FRIDAY, April 10th or it will not become law! Please call her office (505-476-2200) and ask her to sign Senate Bill 42!
The call will only take a minute but will have a tremendous impact for New Mexicans!
What is Senate Bill 42?
As you know access to healthcare coverage is a critical component of successful reentry to the community after incarceration.
Senate Bill 42 would require the Human Services Department to stop terminating an individual’s healthcare coverage when they become incarcerated. The bill would also allow unenrolled individuals to apply for Medicaid before release. By doing these two things, this bill is a first step in increasing an individual’s likelihood of successful reentry into the community.
This bill will help reduce recidivism and is likely to save substantial costs. Healthcare coverage is necessary for accessing mental health treatment and medical care. The experiences of other states has shown that people who are enrolled in Medicaid are less likely to be rearrested, and more likely to participate in behavioral health treatment and other health care services than individuals without Medicaid coverage.
Read more: Action-Alert-SB-42-NMCLP-Website-2015-3-31