Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District highlighted the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for thousands of people in New Mexico. Saturday, March 23, marked the three-year anniversary of the act being signed into law by President Obama. Since that time, a number of provisions have helped lower costs for New Mexico families and increased access to health care.
"As work continues to implement all aspects of the Affordable Care Act, already New Mexico families are benefiting from lower costs and better coverage. Young adults and seniors are receiving critical benefits that will make our communities healthier." Congressman Luján said. "And as more of the provisions take effect, the impact on the health of New Mexicans will grow. With 21 percent of non-elderly New Mexicans living without health insurance, hundreds of thousands of people stand to qualify for coverage under Medicaid or tax credits to help them afford care."
The Affordable Care Act is already helping New Mexicans:
Coverage for 26,000 additional young adults who would otherwise be uninsured. The health care law requires health insurers to permit parents to retain coverage for their children until age 26.
Lower prescription drug costs for 18,867 seniors. The health care law makes prescription drug coverage for people with Medicare more affordable. It gradually closes the gap in coverage known as the "donut hole.' In 2012, nearly 19,000 New Mexicans saved over $14 million combined, or an average of $744 per beneficiary.
Free preventive services for 151,903 seniors in 2012. The health care law provides free Medicare coverage of key preventive services, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and annual wellness visits.
Free preventive services for 373,000 New Mexicans under age 65. The health care law also provides free coverage of preventive services for those enrolled in most private plans. As a result, 373,000 individuals with private insurance plans received one or more free preventive service, such as mammograms or flu shots, in 2011 and 2012.
No lifetime limit on coverage for 555,000 people in New Mexico, including 148,000 children. The health care law prohibits insurers from placing a lifetime limit on coverage.
"Despite the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled on the Affordable Care Act and House Republicans voted to repeal health care reform more than 30 times with nothing to show for it, the Ryan-Republican budget still attacks a law that has impacted hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans. I will continue to fight efforts to repeal these important provisions while looking for new and innovative ways to make health care more affordable and accessible," Luján added.