New Mexico State Officials Announce Lower Cost Projections For Health Care Proposal
New MexicoHuman Services Secretary Pam Hyde on Monday presented state legislators with"drastically reduced" cost estimates of a universal health coverage planintroduced by Gov. Bill Richardson (D), the AP/SantaFe New Mexicanreports. According to the new estimate, state health care spending wouldincrease by less than $30 million in fiscal year 2010, and projected additionalcosts over five years would be about $72 million under the governor's plan(Baker, AP/Santa Fe New Mexican, 12/17).
Hyde on Dec. 4 told the state LegislativeFinance Committeethat, based on a cost analysis prepared by the Mathematica Policy Research Group, state health care spending underthe proposal would increase by about $75 million in FY 2010 and by $333 millionover five years (Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport, 12/7). However, Mathematica officials said a computererror led to inflated cost estimates for Richardson'splan and all other reform plans the company was reviewing for the stateLegislature, according to the AP/New Mexican.
The new figures are still preliminary and will be reviewed by Mathematica aheadof its final report to the state Legislature in February 2008.
Mathematica also revised its estimate of what percentage of the state'spopulation younger than age 65 does not have health care from 25% to 18%,according to Deborah Chollet, the company's project director. Chollet said thenew figure was based on new data from FY 2007 that showed a considerableincrease in the number of residents who are enrolled in Medicaid and otherhealth care programs for low-income people (AP/Santa Fe New Mexican,12/17).
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