Court leaves states with decision on Medicaid

Jun 29, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the federal health care law leaves Gov. Susana Martinez and the Legislature with a critical policy decision of whether to proceed with an expansion of Medicaid to provide medical services to 170,000 uninsured people.

A spokesman for the governor said the Martinez administration needed to analyze Thursday's court's ruling and long-term costs to the state before deciding on the Medicaid expansion called for in federal law.

Sen. Dede Feldman, an Albuquerque Democrat, says New Mexico would be foolish not to expand Medicaid because the federal government will pay most of the costs of insuring needy residents.

The Human Services Department estimates the expansion could cost New Mexico up to $500 million from 2014 to 2020, and the federal government would pay $6 billion.