Governor Selects Former Bush Official to Set Up State Health Insurance Program

May 11, 2012

Governor Susana Martinez has asked a former Bush administration official to help plan a state-run health insurance plan for New Mexico. The New Mexico Human Services Department announced Thursday a contract with a consulting firm founded by Michael Leavitt, former U.S. Health and Human Services secretary under President George W. Bush.

From The Santa Fe New Mexican:

Among the tasks assigned to Leavitt Partners is helping New Mexico figure out the direction to take in setting up a state-run, health insurance exchange, agency spokesman Matt Kennicott said. Leavitt Partners also will help the state write a request for proposals that,
once completed, will ask for bids to build the exchange's computer framework, according to Kennicott.

The Martinez administration put on hold an earlier request for proposals for a $24 million contract to build the computer framework in March. 

The exchanges are meant under the federal government's health care reform law to help more people obtain health insurance. New Mexico has the nation's second-highest uninsured rate in the nation.