Bill to Drive Down Health Care Costs and Expand Coverage Passes House
HB 122 will lower premiums and deductibles, and expand coverage to an estimated 23,000 uninsured New Mexicans
Santa Fe, N.M. – The House of Representatives today passed legislation expanding health care coverage, particularly for New Mexicans who need it the most and don’t have access now, which in turn, reduces costs for everyone.
Sponsored by Rep. Deborah Armstrong (D - Albuquerque) and Rep. Javier Martínez (D-Albuquerque), House Bill 122 reduces the cost of health insurance for New Mexicans and dramatically expands coverage by:
- Establishing a Health Care Affordability Fund to put new revenue towards quality healthcare for all New Mexicans.
- Bringing in over $115 million in revenue by replacing the federal health insurance premium surtax that was recently repealed with a state surtax on the same insurance companies who received the tax break.
The New Mexico Health Care Affordability Fund would be used to reduce health care premiums and deductibles for New Mexicans who purchase insurance through the state’s health insurance exchange. It would lower prices for those who are already covered and bring costs down to a level that thousands of uninsured New Mexicans can afford.
“The pandemic has made it more clear than ever that too many New Mexicans can't afford basic healthcare,” said Rep. Armstrong. By passing HB 122, the New Mexico House of Representatives is taking a big step toward making sure no New Mexican ever has to choose between going to the doctor or putting food on the table.”
“Affordability is the No. 1 barrier to health care in New Mexico. More than one-third of New Mexicans have skipped or refused recommended medical tests because of the costs,” said Rep. Martínez. “Many hardworking New Mexicans earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but are still unable to afford private insurance. HB 122 will fill this coverage gap, providing needed health insurance for 23,000 uninsured New Mexicans, and lowering premiums for everyone.”
House Bill 122 passed the House with a 43-25 vote, and will now move to the Senate.
Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff, and the legislators.