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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Health Reformers to Guv Martinez: Don’t Whiff on Great Opportunity to Create Health Insurance Exchange This Session

Health-reform advocates today called on Governor Martinez to allow Sen. George Munoz’s health insurance exchange legislation to be debated this legislative session.

Munoz’s Senate Bill 278 can be found here.

A health insurance exchange is a competitive health-care marketplace where the uninsured, underinsured and people in the individual and small-group market will be able to buy affordable health coverage under the nation’s health-reform law, the Affordable Care Act.

Each state has been tasked under the law with creating their own version of an exchange. If a state fails to create an exchange, the federal government will create one for it. In New Mexico, Governor Martinez appears to be opting to bypass the Legislature and create an exchange via Executive Order.

“What is potentially troubling here is that the Governor’s early plans for an exchange give insurance company representatives a prominent role in governing the exchange and setting rates,” said Barbara K. Webber, Executive Director of Health Action New Mexico. “I can think of no situation where putting an industry in charge of setting its own rates would benefit consumers and working-class New Mexicans. It would be like the fox guarding the henhouse.”

Health-reform advocates support more health-consumer voices on the exchange and see Munoz’s bill as an excellent opportunity to have a discussion about the exchange and give the public a voice in the debate about how the exchange is structured.

“We are simply asking for Senator Munoz’s bill to be allowed to be heard,” Webber said. “All New Mexicans will be better off if the exchange is created through an open Legislative process rather than behind closed doors via Executive Order. The public deserves a debate on this important issue that will impact tens of thousands of New Mexicans.”

Health-reform advocates are asking the members of the public to call Governor Martinez at 505-476-2200 and ask her to allow the Health Insurance Exchange issue to be heard this legislative session, which ends Feb. 16.

February 2, 2012 at 11:40 AM in Action Alerts, Healthcare, NM Legislature 2012, Obama Health Care Reform | Permalink

Comments

I am getting a disconnect here.
If there is a discussion of the health insurance exchange, then Martinez would bring forth her arguments on the side of profit driven greed. If there is no discussion, the Feds will impose it upon NM. Which is worse?
When NM Democrats lost the governorship did they also lose the power to be proactive on these crucial decisions? Is it not a matter of constant damage control now?
Hold the line brave Democrats because, she is going to keep attacking as per the bidding of national radical Right wing groups and cronies that fund her without limit.

Posted by: qofdisks | Feb 4, 2012 10:31:48 PM