Legislation that would set up a New Mexico health care exchange failed to get out of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee (HAFC) this morning, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Dede Feldman, D-Albuquerque, said.
Feldman said there’d be attempts to get Senate Bill 38 out of HAFC and onto the House floor. The HAFC is the last committee assignment on the House side.
Under the nation’s new health care law, every state is required to have an exchange by 2014, a place where uninsured individuals and small employers can shop for insurance and learn if they qualify for subsidies to help them pay.
The exchange is viewed as a major tool for reducing the number of uninsured New Mexicans. Conservative estimates are that more than 100,000 of New Mexico’s 450,000 uninsured residents would be covered through the proposed exchange.
SB38 not only would create an exchange but also would provide for the appointment, powers and duties of an 11-member board of directors. It also sets up the New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool and the Health Insurance Alliance, two existing nonprofits, to run the exchange.