The New Mexico Health Security Act
The Trump administration clearly wants to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and has already weakened some key provisions, such as requiring everyone to have coverage. One strong message from the White House is to shift the responsibility for health care coverage to the states. Under the ACA, states can receive an innovation waiver to develop their own approaches to covering state residents. How will this be implemented by the current administration, if at all?
What we do know is that the need for new approaches remains. The current situation—with rising premiums and copays, drug price increases, a trend toward plans with high deductibles, and decreasing choice of providers—is unsustainable.
The New Mexico Health Security Act, which has been vetted by diverse New Mexicans for years, provides a well-thought-out alternative to the current system.
What the NM Health Security Act proposes:
Under the proposal, New Mexico will set up its own health insurance plan—the Health Security Plan—that will cover almost all New Mexico residents. (Federal retirees, active duty and retired military, and TRICARE recipients will continue with their federal plans. The tribes, as sovereign nations, may choose to join the Plan. Health plans covered under ERISA have the option of joining the Plan.)
The Plan shifts private insurance to a supplemental role (as traditional Medicare does). Plan members have guaranteed access to comprehensive, quality health care coverage, regardless of income level or health and employment status.
A carefully considered approach:
✔ Phase 1: The financial analysis phase, when the Legislative Finance Committee, with public input, will determine:
- The cost of the Plan
- Individual premiums and employer contributions
- Workers’ compensation and automobile insurance premium reductions
✔ Phase 2: Legislative and gubernatorial approval of the financial analysis report. If not approved, the Plan will not go into effect.
✔ Phase 3: Development of the Plan, with legislative, executive, and public input, and application for any waivers needed so the Plan can begin operations and receive all federal tax credits and subsidies.
The NM Health Security Plan also:
- Guarantees choice of provider, even across state lines
- Guarantees a good benefit package that must be as comprehensive as the services offered state employees
- Preserves the private delivery system (private physicians, hospitals, etc.)
- Provides strong protections for retirees
- Reduces overhead costs for health care providers and facilities