Health Security Act Introduced At Legislature To Ensure Coverage For All New Mexicans
Senators Carlos Cisneros, Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Bill Soules have to introduced the Health Security Act in the New Mexico State Senate.
The first phase of the Act will be a fiscal analysis to make certain that it is financially feasible.
According to Cisneros, vice-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, “Passage of the Health Security Act this year will initially result in a prudent fiscal analysis of the details of the plan. No other steps will be taken until we are certain that the finances will work and that it will be revenue neutral.”
Ortiz y Pino, chair of the Senate Public Affairs Committee, observed that, “The time has come for the Health Security Act. I feel that it will pass the legislature this year and start us on the path to financially sustainable, affordable, quality health care for all New Mexicans.”
The Health Security Plan, structured much like a cooperative, will have a comprehensive benefit package and will let patients choose their own doctors and other providers, without networks.
The Plan sets up one large risk pool of approximately 1.7 million New Mexicans and shifts private, for-profit insurance to a supplementary role.
Rep. Debbie Armstrong, chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, along with Rep. Bobby Gonzales, will also introduce the Health Security Act in the New Mexico House of Representatives Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. The Act will enable New Mexico to set up its own health plan, ensuring coverage for all New Mexicans.
Armstrong noted, “The Health Security Act will make a great improvement in our lives. It is a systemic solution that ensures that all New Mexicans will have health insurance coverage with comprehensive benefits. Since the premiums will be on a sliding scale based on income, working families will be able to afford it.”
Over 160 New Mexico organizations support the Health Security Act, and 35 counties and municipalities have passed resolutions in support. The most recent was the City of Albuquerque, which passed its resolution with a unanimous, 9-0, bipartisan vote.
According to Max Bartlett, chair of the Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign, “the current system based on private, for-profit insurance is very complex, with hundreds of insurance policies, with different benefits, copays, prior authorizations, and deductibles. These complexities increase overhead costs and build confusion and frustration for all concerned.”
“The Health Security Act is a well-thought-out solution, developed over the course of several years, with input from thousands of New Mexicans from around the state. It will be run by an independent commission that is geographically representative of the state. Consumers, local businesses, medical providers, and communities will be involved in making decisions via local health advisory councils. Those who want more information, please visit our web site, www.nmhealthsecurity.org” Bartlett added.