States Without Republican Senators Shut Out from AHCA Talks
The proposed healthcare reform is set to cost hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next decade, according to a new study, but many states are unable to take part in negotiations regarding the bill because of political polarization.
A report released by the Commonwealth Fund and the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University projects that 924,000 jobs would be lost nationally by 2026, with the majority of those cuts coming in healthcare, as a result of the American Health Care Act passing as it is currently written. A congressional analysis of the bill also showed that 13 million to 23 million people might also be stripped of coverage should the bill pass.
But one of the states most impacted by the change, New Mexico, has no state senators in the private meetings to discuss the bill, as the Republicans have essentially shut out Democrats from private meetings as well as bypassed a floor review by using a special rule.
Republicans hold a majority in the Senate and therefore do not need to compromise with Democrats if they want to see the bill passed. States that are vulnerable to losing thousands of jobs and having even more people pushed off insurance are unable to offer their input, however, due to the way the bill is being pushed through the Senate.
The AHCA has been controversial ever since its inception. Town halls across the country were filled with angry constituents concerned that the rollback on the Affordable Care Act would deny coverage for them or their families. Coverage showed heated debates taking place in meeting grounds with constituents often seen furious or bewildered by their state senators.
But with New Mexico and other states without Republican senators effectively being shut out by the private meetings, thousands more jobs and healthcare denials could be forthcoming, with those affected having little say in the matter due to the polarization that has shut out their elected officials.
The bill is slated to be passed in July. While many believe that changes are coming to the bill, there are concerns that whatever changes are instituted will not be enough to make up for the massive job losses and rollback on coverage.
“New Mexico has a lot to lose from Medicaid rollback,” Sante Fe New Mexican, June 18, 2017.