Will New Mexico Expand Medicaid?

With the Supreme Court’s recent decision in National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Sebelius, the House of Representatives once again holding a vote for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and state governments taking firm positions regarding compliance with the Medicaid expansion, there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the future of Medicaid coverage at the state level.

New Mexico remains one of 27 states which has not committed to participating in the Medicaid expansion imposed by the Affordable Care Act, nor expressly declining participation. Governor Susana Martinez (R) has supported increased state funding for Medicaid during her tenure in office, yet has taken no official position on the Medicaid expansion provisions of the Affordable care Act in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision. On the day the Supreme Court handed down their decision in National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Sebelius, a spokesman for Governor Martinez was quoted as saying: “Governor Martinez remains committed to ensuring that we provide basic health care for those most in need through Medicaid. The governor is reviewing today’s Supreme Court decision and will proceed in a manner that best protects the safety net for the most vulnerable New Mexicans in a responsible and sustainable manner.”

Many Democrats in the state legislature, including Senator Dede Feldman support the expansion of Medicaid program.  Senator Feldman has stated on the record that: “New Mexico would be foolish not to expand its Medicaid program…”  Despite the neutral stance taken by New Mexico thus far, many in the Democrat controlled legislature, including Senator John Arthur Smith (D), predict that the upcoming debate over whether to commit to the Medicaid expansion will foster more conflict between social liberals and conservatives committed to reducing budget deficits.

Michael V. Malone, Law Clerk for Marquardt Law Firm, P.C., contributed the content for this post.  Thanks Michael!

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