An analysis by legislative staff estimates the costs of a proposed Medicaid expansion will be offset for at least six years by new tax revenues from economic growth if the state offers health care to more low-income New Mexicans. The Legislative Finance Committee released the projections on Thursday as lawmakers began to consider what will be one of the biggest issues confronting Gov. Susana Martinez and the Legislature next year.
Policymakers must decide whether the state can afford the long-term costs of expanding the eligibility of Medicaid as called for under a federal health care overhaul, potentially covering nearly 170,000 New Mexicans by 2020.
About a fourth of the state's population currently receives medical care through Medicaid, which covers uninsured children, the disabled and the poor.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.