Pearce leaning 'no' on GOP health plan - Albuquerque Journal

Pearce leaning ‘no’ on GOP health plan

WASHINGTON – Rep. Steve Pearce said Wednesday that he is leaning against supporting the House Republican proposal for replacing the Affordable Care Act, which is scheduled – at least tentatively – for a vote today.

Rep. Steve Pearce
Rep. Steve Pearce

Pearce, a New Mexico Republican, was among two dozen members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who met with Vice President Mike Pence about the House legislation on Wednesday. But despite the vice president’s cajoling, Pearce told the Journal after the meeting his position was “lean no” on the bill.

“I’ve been lean no for most of the time” since House Speaker Paul Ryan introduced the legislation, Pearce said. “From the very early stages, it looked like there were things that were not going to be good for New Mexico and where our (low-income) economic strata lie.”

Pearce said he could support the House bill only if it was stripped of two major components: minimum coverage standards mandated by the Affordable Care Act or “essential health benefits,” and similar language in Title I of the Affordable Care Act defined as “qualified health plans.”

Pearce and many other Republicans contend that eliminating those provisions would allow insurers to offer coverage at lower prices, even if they don’t provide the same level of benefits.

“My position is I just want things to be affordable and I want it to work in New Mexico,” Pearce said. “Right now, there are critical questions.”

Other members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation – all Democrats – oppose the House bill.

Pearce noted that the 10 so-called essential health benefits mandated under the Affordable Care Act and in the current House plan include coverage for things such as addiction treatment and smoking cessation programs that many, especially healthy young people, don’t want to pay for. The essential benefits also include maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs and emergency room coverage.

“We’ve been transparent from the first that the essential health benefits are what are driving costs up so high in Obamacare, and they are still in this package here, so we’ve said take those out,” Pearce said. “This is what has driven up the cost and caused people to bail out of the program.”


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
DA removed from homicide case
ABQnews Seeker
FARMINGTON – A New ... FARMINGTON – A New Mexico judge has ruled that a district attorney's office must be replaced ...
2
Navajo Nation adds 23 more COVID cases
ABQnews Seeker
Reservation has had a total of ... Reservation has had a total of 1,540 deaths
3
RR shop owners expect prime holiday shopping season
Business
RIO RANCHO – While ... RIO RANCHO – While national supply chain issues may impact big-box stores' holiday shopping ...
4
With COVID, ‘normal’ is a relative term
Business
Elderly residents living alone know how ... Elderly residents living alone know how to protect themselves; they keep their doors shut and lock their windows at night
5
Roth conversions offer considerable benefits
Business
I have been a fan for ... I have been a fan for many years of investors building their tax-free (Roth IRA) bucket as large as ...
6
Can a job-seeker include unpaid work on their résumé?
Business
Try listing your experience and accomplishments ... Try listing your experience and accomplishments under either Consulting or Freelance
7
Trade woes mean 2022 will be pricier for consumers
Business
Consumers should plan for higher prices ... Consumers should plan for higher prices and budget accordingly
8
Automatic recounts scheduled for close races
ABQnews Seeker
School board, council contests, ballot question ... School board, council contests, ballot question qualify for new tallies
9
What the heck is going on at Paseo and ...
ABQnews Seeker
New configuration for bike lane confuses ... New configuration for bike lane confuses many