Medicaid regulations will weaken NM economy if Congress does not act.
ALBUQUERQUE-A new report from Families USA estimates that New Mexico will lose $183.2 million in federal Medicaid funding in just the first year if rules issued by the Bush Administration go into effect. The report, "Bad Medicine: The President's Medicaid Regulations Will Weaken New Mexico's Economy," concludes that the regulations would result in the loss of $364.7 million in related business activity, $134.6 million in lost wages, and 4,000 lost jobs in one year.
"The federal Medicaid money that is injected into the state's economy is spent on salaries, which are spent, in turn, on living expenses and other goods and services," said NM Voices for Children Research Director Gerry Bradley. "Given the slowdown in the national economy, these regulations were the absolute wrong thing to do," he added. The total cost will be $1.5 billion over five years. The report also concludes that those hardest hit are likely to be children and people with disabilities.
The U.S. House recently passed the Protecting the Medicaid Safety Net Act of 2008 on a 349-62 vote, which would place a moratorium on the regulations until March 2009. Of New Mexico's representatives, Udall and Wilson voted in favor of the bill, Pearce voted against. The Senate has not yet taken final action.
Families USA is a Washington, D.C.-based group advocating for quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Get the report here http://www.familiesusa.org/assets/pdfs/bad-medicine/new-mexico.pdf