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Good News on Paying for New Mexico Medicaid Expansion

August 26, 2011

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - More than enough federal money will come into the state treasury to pay for the expansion of New Mexico's Medicaid program, according to a report released today.

State legislators were concerned was that the costs of expansion would be more than the state could afford. However, the report from New Mexico Voices for Children finds that funds from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would not only pay for the expansion but would leave millions of dollars to spare.

Report author Kelly O'Donnell says the expansion will also boost the state economy.

"We project that the impact on state revenue between 2014 and 2020 will be somewhere between $600 million and $1 billion in new revenue."

Infusion of this new state revenue will give lawmakers a lot of choices, O'Donnell says.

"But it will also allow the state to continue to fund current programs, potentially build new programs, forestall future increases in taxes, or - if the state and local governments so choose - even reduce some taxes."

The additional federal funds have the potential to impact more than just health care because of the job creation. The potential for additional jobs was laid out earlier this summer in a report released by New Mexico Voices for Children.

The report, "The Tax Revenue Benefits of Health Care Reform in New Mexico," is online at nmvoices.org.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - NM