November 9, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sharon Kayne, Communications Director, NM Voices for Children, 505-244-9505
ALBUQUERQUE—Veronica C. Garcia, Executive Director of New Mexico Voices for Children, made the following statement regarding the Affordable Care Act in light of the general election outcome:
“With the election decided, it is now clear that the nation’s health reform law—the Affordable Care Act—is here to stay. That’s great news for New Mexicans who have already benefited from the law and will see more gains as major provisions take effect in 2014.
“To reap the law’s biggest gains and bring affordable health insurance to the thousands of New Mexicans who do not have coverage, our policymakers must now move forward quickly.
“Governor Martinez and the Legislature should prepare to expand Medicaid to help some 150,000 working parents and other adults get the quality health care they need. Expanding Medicaid is a great deal for New Mexico. The influx of federal dollars will create jobs and economic activity, and the Medicaid expansion will save the state money, especially by reducing the amount it spends on uncompensated care for the uninsured. If New Mexico does not expand Medicaid, the federal income taxes that New Mexicans pay will go to provide health care for people in other states.
“The Governor’s non-action on the Medicaid expansion is, in effect, a decision to not expand it. If she is going to accept the expansion—and we believe she should—she needs to do so now. We are losing valuable preparation time.
“The state should also ramp up its work on the health insurance exchange. Through the exchange, 100,000 New Mexicans who now can’t afford health insurance or can’t get it through their jobs will be able to compare and buy affordable, quality private health insurance plans. Those who need it will get help paying for premiums and out-of-pocket costs (like co-payments for doctor visits) in the form of federal tax credits.
“Expanding Medicaid and launching a state health insurance exchange are the right things to do for New Mexico. Policymakers shouldn’t wait any longer to move forward.”
New Mexico Voices for Children is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advocating for policies to improve the health and well-being of New Mexico’s children, families and communities.
2340 Alamo SE, Suite 120, Albuquerque, NM 87106-3523; 505-244-9505 (p); www.nmvoices.org