How the Supreme Court's ACA Decision Affects New Mexicans
June 29, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE – The U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as constitutional has pleased healthcare reform advocates in New Mexico. One of them, Sharon Kayne at New Mexico Voices for Children, says the state is among those that will benefit the most from the ACA.
"It's because we have one of the highest rates of people without health insurance, and that drives up health insurance costs for everyone."
Kayne says lack of health care makes workers less productive and threatens families' economic security.
Barbara Webber, executive director of Health Action New Mexico, agrees. She believes the court's ruling will save lives.
"Here in New Mexico, in 2009, we know that over 1,400 people died preventable deaths, just because they didn't have access to health care."
Kayne calls the ruling "a win for children and families." She points out that parents who have health care are more likely to take their children to the doctor. Now, she says, more of those parents will have coverage.
"If the state implements it fully, parents who have children on Medicaid now, but don't qualify for it themselves, will be able to get either on Medicaid, or a low-cost health insurance plan of their own."
On the subject of women's health, adds Webber, the ACA puts an end to co-pays for reproductive health care and such screenings as mammograms, making them more accessible. The law equalizes some costs, she says.
"It will eliminate in 2014, the additional monies that women pay just because of their gender, for getting the same health care."
Webber believes upholding the law means more attention can be paid to preventive and coordinated care. She also wants to see the energy, money and time – that has been invested in partisan debate – refocused on implementing the law.