Saturday, November 24, 2012

Memo To New Mexico Democrats: Don't let Governor Martinez deny free health care to the poor

The state also must decide whether to expand eligibility of Medicaid to potentially provide health care to nearly 170,000 low-income residents by 2020.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/NM-overhauling-state-insurance-regulation-4063591.php#ixzz2DBPYx3A7
The state also must decide whether to expand eligibility of Medicaid to potentially provide health care to nearly 170,000 low-income residents by 2020.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/NM-overhauling-state-insurance-regulation-4063591.php#ixzz2DBPYx3A7
"The state also must decide whether to expand eligibility of Medicaid to potentially provide health care to nearly 170,000 low-income residents by 2020."

That tidbit, buried in a story about how New Mexico' will work out the new insurance regulatory regime recently approved by voters, refers to a part of Obamacare by which the federal government reimburses almost 100 percent of the cost to states who take advantage of a Medicaid expansion. It's a very inexpensive way for the state to provide health care to the poorest of the poor.

It's one of those things that Republican governors in red states are refusing to implement. Unlike them, New Mexico's Republican governor Susana Martinez has gone along with creating the insurance exchange by which people can shop for Obamacare online, but don't let her get away with not implementing the Medicaid expansion here.

Massey Confusion

Barry Massey on Twitter
The paragraph quoted above is from a story by a Barry Massey, an AP reporter stationed in Santa Fe (who wears a bow tie.) Oddly, he uses the exact same paragraph in another story that deals specifically with the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, but which leaves the false impression that the state won't be reimbursed for the added costs. It implies that the state will be saddled with huge costs in the long run, which is not true.

It's hard to tell from the story whether Massey is confused because the NM legislature is confused or whether he's intentionally confusing the issue.
  
Our federal legislative delegation should be making sure the public and state and local lawmakers are educated about this and other aspects of Obamacare which, except for this one little thing put out by retiring Sen. Jeff Bingamon's office in his October email, I haven't seen them do.



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