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Roundhouse Rally Supports Health Care for All New Mexicans

February 19, 2007

Almost a quarter of all New Mexico residents don't have health insurance, and today hundreds of healthcare advocates gathered at the State Capitol to support a proposed "Health Security Act" that would significantly expand coverage.

Ona Porter of Community Action New Mexico says the plan would make the state a national leader in healthcare reform, and that the change is vital for the state's well-being.

"As the poorest state in the nation, the state that has near the top of the number of people uninsured in the nation, it's a critical issue and one that we've got to address."

The proposal has jumped its first legislative hurdle, emerging last week from the Senate Judiciary Committee -- but not without critics' questions about how such broad coverage would be funded by the state. Nonetheless, Mary Feldblum of the group Health Security for New Mexicans says finding the money is a necessity.

"Almost one out of four New Mexicans is uninsured, and a whole lot are underinsured, so something new and different needs to be done."

The "Health Security Act" legislation is House Bill 746 and Senate Bill 636.

Dondrea Warner/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - NM