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Rep. Steve Pearce two-steps to a different beat on healthcare, Trump

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By Sherry Robinson

Political pundits are talking lately about a possible run for governor by Congressman Steve Pearce. If that’s true, he has a strange way of endearing himself to New Mexico voters.
Pearce was one of the Republicans to sign the American Healthcare Act. And while other Rs look for cover as the president’s controversies deepen, Pearce goes out on a limb to defend him.
The current version of the House healthcare bill isn’t likely to survive the Senate makeover, but it’s instructive to look at what Pearce thinks is appropriate for us.
The AHCA would repeal Obamacare, phase out increased federal funding for low-income people who got coverage through the 2014 Medicaid expansion. It would instead make Medicaid a cheaper block grant program. Millions of people would lose their coverage in the next ten years.
In New Mexico that translates to more than 265,000 people of the 900,000 currently on Medicaid, according to an analysis by economist Kelly O’Donnell, of UNM’s Robert Wood Johnson Center for Health Policy. It would also affect the children, seniors and disabled people who traditionally qualified. New Mexico would have to come up with an additional $427 million a year or reduce coverage.


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