Why Your Legislator Should Support The Health Security Act
Summary: The Health Security Act provides for a fiscal analysis to determine if the specific Plan described in this legislation is financially feasible and prudent. The Plan outlined in the Health Security Act would make certain that all New Mexicans have comprehensive, affordable health care coverage.
The Act proposes an innovative approach that enables New Mexico to self-insure, setting up its own health care plan.
Fiscal Analysis First: The Act requires that a fiscal analysis be performed to assess whether the Health Security Plan, as described in the Act, is economically feasible. The Legislative Finance Committee would oversee this analysis. Only if the analysis demonstrates viability could the process of fully developing and setting up the Plan begin. A full description of the actual Health Security Plan is contained in the legislation so that the experts conducting the fiscal analysis have the information necessary to complete an accurate analysis of the Plan.
What the Plan Is: The Plan described in the Health Security Act, and which would be costed out, would automatically cover all New Mexicans, with some exceptions. It allows freedom of choice of providers without networks, offers services equal to those in the state employees’ health plan, and is administered by a nongovernmental entity – a geographically representative public commission structured much like a cooperative.
Previous studies: There is already strong evidence that the Plan will reduce rising health care costs. Two New Mexico studies (Lewin 1994 and Mathematica 2007) concluded that such a plan would save hundreds of millions of dollars within five years of implementation.
What the Act Does:
- The Act provides for a fiscal analysis of the Health Security Plan, overseen by the Legislative Finance Committee.
- The fiscal analysis, which is due by October 1, 2020, will be presented to appropriate interim legislative committees.
- During the 2021 legislative session, legislators must decide whether to proceed with fully developing and setting up the Plan. Legislative and gubernatorial agreement to proceed must occur; otherwise the Act is automatically repealed.
- Should the 2021 legislature decide to proceed, all that would be required is the removal of the Act’s delayed repeal section and an appropriation to cover the initial setup costs.
Important points to keep in mind:
- The Plan preserves the existing, private health care delivery system.
- By creating a much simpler insurance system, the Plan reduces provider overhead costs.
- Employers and individuals who wish to purchase supplemental insurance may do so (as with traditional Medicare).
- The Plan is a New Mexico solution, with years of input from diverse New Mexicans across the state.