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New Mexico Governor Might Compromise With Health Care Coalition On Legislation

Armen Hareyan's picture

Theadministration of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) on Thursday indicatedthat it is willing to compromise with a coalition of advocacy groups onlegislation that would overhaul the state's health care system, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports. Richardsonsupports a bill that would require all New Mexico residents to obtain health coverage and wouldcreate a health care authority. The coalition, called the Health Care for AllCampaign, supports the creation of a health care authority that would work withexpert advisory councils to develop by 2009 "a comprehensive plan foraccessible and affordable health care" for all state residents.

State Human Services Secretary Pam Hyde said that Richardson wants health care legislation toinclude insurance reforms and mechanisms to expand coverage. The coalition saidthat Richardson'splan does not do enough to reduce health care costs and guarantee access tocare and that the proposed health care authority would give the governor toomuch power. Under Richardson'splan, the governor would appoint all but one of the 11 members of theauthority. Hyde said the Richardsonadministration is willing to discuss making the authority more independent, theAP/Times reports.

The state House Health and Government Affairs Committee also is considering athird proposal that would create a "cooperative-type health insurance planfor nearly all New Mexicans that would be run by an independentcommission," according to the AP/Times (Baker, AP/ContraCosta Times, 1/24).

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