Albuquerque, N.M. – Today, on the 53rd anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid being signed into law, the Democratic Party of New Mexico hosted a news conference on the continued critical role these programs play in the health and economic well-being of New Mexico. At the conference, speakers discussed what’s at stake as Republicans threaten to cut Medicare and Medicaid, and their plan to protect them.
WATCH: Video from the news conference
Speakers at the event included Anjali Taneja, Executive Director of Casa de Salud; Deb Haaland, candidate for Congressional District 1; Joshua Moya, a New Mexican for whom substance abuse treatment provided through Medicaid was a vital lifeline during a time of need; Barbara McAneny, President of the American Medical Associations; Mark Epstein, Chief Medical Officer of True Health New Mexico; and Marg Elliston, Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.
“Healthcare is a human right. We need to be talking about healthcare from a rights-based framework,” said Anjali Taneja. “As a physician, I see patients whose physical, emotional, and financial health and well-being have been transformed by access to Medicaid. New Mexico needs to continue to be a leading voice in pushing for healthcare for all, without compromise.”
“When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was fortunate to be able to use Medicaid for my prenatal care. New Mexicans like me depend on these services and we need to fully fund them,” said Deb Haaland. “From 2017 to 2018 under this administration, premiums have increased an average of $177 and our uninsured rate has risen by 3.8%. On the anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, I call on my Republican opponent to defend the health and security of New Mexicans by denouncing her party’s attack on Medicare and Medicaid funding.”
“Without Medicaid being available to me, I would not be the man I am today,” said Joshua Moya. “I know my kids are grateful to have a father in their life who is now able to make an impact.”
“The AMA supports having every American get the care they need,” said Barbara McAneny. “Hard working New Mexicans have paid for their Medicare benefits, and they deserve to have the government keep the promise to provide the health care they have earned. The Medicaid expansion in New Mexico has allowed me to provide cancer care to many people who could not get care before.”
“Supporting health-sustaining programs like Medicare and Medicaid is not simply helping the well-being of our children, our elders, and our most vulnerable, it is also how we make our communities, our economy and our State thrive,” said Mark Epstein. “New Mexicans know that its greatest natural resource, its people, must be fully supported and fully funded to provide care for its own, by ensuring access to primary care, to preventive services, to life-sustaining medications, and to behavioral health services. And, now, we must stand against this proposed hit to our New Mexican healthcare landscape to prevent any erosion of the Medicare and Medicaid programs that are so vital to our health as a people and the health of our State.”
“This anniversary is not only a reminder of the importance of Medicare and Medicaid as a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans, but also the constant attacks on these programs from Republicans like Steve Pearce,” said Marg Elliston. “We can’t trust a Freedom Caucus backbencher like Pearce to run our state when healthcare for 318,000 everyday New Mexicans hangs in the balance.”
“For over 50 years, Medicare and Medicaid have improved the quality of life of seniors, people with disabilities, children and families,” said Martin Heinrich. “Republican attempts to dismantle these critical programs would be devastating in New Mexico, where more than 1 million people — half of all households in the state — rely on these programs to get the care they need. I will keep fighting to protect the Medicaid and Medicare coverage so many New Mexicans rely on.”