It’s no secret that access to health care in our country is under attack, leaving patients and their loved ones in a constant state of fear. The fear and uncertainty was recently brought to the forefront with a (July 15) article written by Journal staff writer Scott Turner, “ACA challenge worries those with pre-existing conditions.”
The ACA continues to be challenged by Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration and the current battleground lies in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. But as state lawmakers we are also fighting with everything we have to secure health care access for all New Mexicans, and we made significant strides this year.
Lack of access to health care is truly a life-or-death matter for many New Mexicans across our state.
As we stepped into the last legislative session, we asked ourselves, “What are some of the top concerns in our communities if the ACA were to be repealed?” We found that New Mexicans are worried about being denied access to health care for having a pre-existing condition, and being denied insurance coverage for contraception.
We both fought hard to pass bills that have been signed into law that will now safeguard patients, even if the ACA is dismantled or completely repealed.
The law to protect people with pre-existing conditions that we passed now makes it illegal for any health care insurance company in New Mexico to deny a person health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Over 330,000 New Mexicans under the age of 65 live with pre-existing conditions – including asthma, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.