Senate OKs rural hospital financing plan

Updated: 02/17/2014 9:13 AM | Created: 02/17/2014 8:11 AM
By: The Associated Press

SANTA FE (AP) - The Senate has approved a measure to require counties to contribute $26 million a year to a program helping more than two dozen mostly rural hospitals cover health care for poor New Mexicans.

The measure passed the Senate late Sunday on a 38-4 vote after a lengthy debate over how much counties should provide to match available federal money. The proposal is expected to generate nearly $150 million for indigent health care and increased reimbursements for providers.

The legislation allows counties to increase their gross receipts taxes by one-twelfth of a percent to cover what must be contributed to the state.

Some lawmakers said counties should provide about $36 million to help generate a larger amount of federal matching money for health care.

The bill heads to the House.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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