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New Mexicans concerned about the new American Health Care Act

New Mexicans concerned about the new American Health Care Act



Joy Wang
March 07, 2017 07:05 PM

George Ridgeway is a 62-year-old handyman who repairs, remodels and builds for a living, but over the years he's had to deal with his fair share of health problems.

“I have a herniated disc in my back,” said Ridgeway.

He says that stops him from carrying anything more than 60 pounds, plus he’s also suffered bleeding esophageal issues.

“He's been hospitalized several times,” explained his wife Janice Pacifico. “He can't move. It's excruciating pain.”

Thankfully his insurance helps out with the cost. Under Obamacare, he's paying about $34 a month as the subsidies make up for the hundreds of dollars he can't afford.

Under the American Healthcare Act, he could be paying $2600 more per year in premiums.

“If I get sick or something like that and have to go to the hospital, then I might end up being bankrupt,” said Ridgeway. “We might lose everything we have.”

Because of their income, tax credits and a Health Savings Accounts aren't realistic.

“We barely pay our bills every month, so where would we find the money to put into a health savings account?” asked Pacifico. “You would have to have an extraordinary amount of money to meet the catastrophic costs of some issues.”

Then there's the Medicaid expansion that could also go away.

“The Affordable Care Act is not perfect,” said Pacifico. “Nobody ever said it was perfect.”

But for them, it has made a world of difference.

“The best thing would be to improve the program that we already have,” said Pacifico.



Joy Wang

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Categories: State News