SANTA FE, NM - Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., issued the following news release:
Governor Bill Richardson today announced the state is moving forward on several initial recommendations from the New Mexico Health Care Reform Leadership Team's Strategic Plan. Governor Richardson appointed the leadership team to develop a plan for the state to implement the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed by Congress earlier this year.
"I appreciate the hard work this team put forward to lead New Mexico down the right path in implementing health care reform," Governor Richardson said. "Now the even harder work must begin with implementing some of the recommendations, including developing New Mexico's own strong health insurance exchange."
Developing a Health Insurance Exchange is one of the recommendations in the Strategic Plan.
"The Leadership Team felt strongly about establishing our own health insurance exchange rather than using one operated by the federal government with the purpose of the Exchange being an active marketplace that helps drive the development of quality, affordable plans for New Mexicans," said Katie Falls, Human Services Department Secretary and chair of the Health Care Reform Leadership Team.
The other recommendations the Governor has directed the state to move forward with include:
* Continue convening the Health Care Reform Leadership Team to assure coordination across state agencies, report directly to the Office of the Governor, and be accountable for recommendations made to the Executive.
* Expand membership of the HCR Leadership Team to include representation from the Higher Education Department; Public Education Department; Department of Finance and Administration; General Services Department, Risk Management Division; Office of the Governor's Council on Women's Health; and the Workers' Compensation Administration.
* Create an Office of Health Care Reform generally based on the NM Office of Recovery and Reinvestment (NMORR) model utilizing existing staff resources to plan, coordinate, and administer implementation of federal health care reform while reporting to the Health Care Reform Leadership Team.
* Host the Office of Health Care Reform at the Human Services Department
* Determine state statutes requiring amendment/enactment to be in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
* Conduct tribal consultation regarding health care reform initiatives and policies that will impact American Indians.
The HCR Leadership Team was put together by Executive Order earlier this year and consisted of several state agencies and offices. The Leadership Team held three meetings, where the public and stakeholders had the opportunity to give input.
The Strategic Plan, Federal Health Care Reform - A Roadmap for New Mexico, highlights the need to further analyze the fiscal and policy implications presented for our state given various provisions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The complete report can be found on the HSD website at http://www.hsd.state.nm.us/pdf/hcr/NM%20Federal%20Health%20Care%20Reform%20Strategi c%20Plan%207-12-10%20FINAL.pdf.
Source: Governor's Office