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NM Seeks ACA Open-Enrollment Extension

PHOTO: U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall of New Mexico are asking Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelium to extend the open-enrollment phase of the Affordable Care Act beyond the current deadline of March 31. Image courtesy of whitehouse.gov
PHOTO: U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall of New Mexico are asking Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelium to extend the open-enrollment phase of the Affordable Care Act beyond the current deadline of March 31. Image courtesy of whitehouse.gov
October 29, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall of New Mexico are part of a senate coalition asking that the open-enrollment phase of the Affordable Care Act be extended beyond the current deadline of March 31. The lawmakers say Americans deserve more time to make informed decisions about buying medical insurance through the HealthCare.gov website. Heinrich's spokeswoman, Whitney Potter, asserted that the government needs to fix that website, which has experienced major technical problems since it opened Oct. 1.

"We really need to see HHS step up and fix these problems, and the senator believes that's very important for New Mexicans to have that access online," she said.

President Obama has pledged that a technology team will have the website fixed within a few weeks.

Executive director Barbara Webber of Health Action New Mexico, an advocacy group, said that improving HealthCare.gov is critical to helping hundreds of thousands of people in the state get health insurance.

"The good news for New Mexico is that there is no state in the country that is going to benefit from expanding coverage options to residents as New Mexico is," she said.

New Mexico has among the nation's highest rates of uninsured residents.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM