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New Mexico Telegram » Featured, Health » Gov signs health insurance exchange bill

Gov signs health insurance exchange bill

Gov. Susana Martinez signed legislation that would create a health insurance exchange framework.

The bill was criticized by some for not having enough consumer advocates and being too tilted towards the health insurance industry. However, it passed with bipartisan support in both chambers of the Legislature.

“As I said during my State of the State address, I didn’t support Obamacare, but it is the law of the land. My job is to implement this law in a way that best serves New Mexicans,” said Martinez in a statement. “For over 18 months, we have been working to design, build, and implement a health insurance exchange that meets the unique needs of New Mexicans. This legislation builds on those efforts, which had already received conditional approval from the Obama administration, and represents a tremendous amount of hard work and compromise shared by my administration, the legislature, advocates, and the healthcare industry. We still have plenty of work left to do, but I am confident that, working together, we can get it done.”

If New Mexico did not create its own health insurance exchange, the federal government would set up its own exchange. Several Republican governors have refused to create a state-based exchange — leading those states to ironically have their health insurance exchagnes run by the Obama administration.

“This may not be a perfect solution, but it is a start that helps keep New Mexico on the path towards the creation of a unique solution for New Mexicans,” sponsor Sen. Benny Shendo, D-Jemez Pueblo, said. “I am pleased we were able to accomplish passage of this legislation and look forward to working on the exchange for years to come.”

“Once enacted, this new statute will provide a framework to establish an exchange for New Mexicans, by New Mexicans,” House sponsor Rep. Tom Taylor, R-Farmington, said in a statement. “I appreciate the hard work of the governor and everyone involved to help pass this legislation.”

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Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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2 Responses to "Gov signs health insurance exchange bill"

  1. […] Susana Martinez signed into law today legislation that will create a state health exchange for New […]

  2. David Dickinson says:

    Section 3 Paragraph G (1) allows members of the boards of directors of insurance companies to sit on the board of directors of the exchange. Paragraph L sets up a two-year revolving door for representatives of health insurance companies, while health care providers have three-year terms.

    The exchange has no means for rate controls other than those already existing in state regulations and law. Nothing about the exchange provides more competition between insurers than what already exists in the wider market.

    I see no benefit to this exchange other than that it provides income from the taxpayers to insurance and health care providers who will have part-time jobs on the board and for the new employees of the board. The law does nothing to change the landscape of health care finance except create another market for insurers.

    And corruption is built-in to the system.