State lawmakers consider expanding Medicaid coverage | KOB 4
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State lawmakers consider expanding Medicaid coverage

Joy Wang
January 22, 2018 06:13 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Medicaid, the government program that provides health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of families in New Mexico, is only available to a specific group of people. Right now, there's a push in the Roundhouse to look at expanding coverage.

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It's called Medicaid Buy-In. It would expand health coverage and make it more affordable to New Mexicans. Bills in the House and Senate request the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee to look into exploring that option through a study.

"Health care option that is affordable, provides good quality care for all our families, would mean that our families could actually focus on getting better, healing, and not having to navigate multiple systems or to be without health care altogether," said Adriann Barboa with Strong Families NM.

Barboa said 900 thousand families in New Mexico already rely on Medicaid, which means the coverage works for many New Mexican families. So what if that were available to more?

"We're one of the first states to be looking at something like this, and so this session we are running a memorial in the state Legislature that would direct the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee to start studying how this might work," said Colin Baillio with Health Action New Mexico.

That means talking to all parties involved -- hospitals, insurance companies and average New Mexicans -- about Medicaid.

"It covers all the benefits that folks could need, which includes dental and vision care which is out of reach for a lot of people right now," said Baillio.

Credits

Joy Wang

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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