By Rep. Jim Hall
House District 43
I am currently in Washington, D.C., attending a conference for state legislators on Medicaid put on by the non-partisan Council of State Governments.
The primary focus of the conference has been how to address the ongoing, large increases in Medicaid costs on state finances.
Today’s decision by the Supreme Court makes these issues even more timely and important.
The predicted growth in New Mexico Medicaid before the Court’s decision was an increase in New Mexico Medicaid enrollees by between 172,000 and 212,000 at a yearly cost increase of between $350 million and $420 million in state general funds over the next seven years.
Note these numbers are approximate: I do not have all of my reference material with me here in Washington.
The Court decision also seems to leave some state participation in increasing Medicaid populations and costs up to the individual states.
All in all: I think there will be more state-level decisions to make, costs will continue to increase, and states will continue to work hard to find ways to effectively manage costs and ensure better health care delivery to our most vulnerable citizens.
It will be interesting and challenging work.