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If you’re like thousands of New Mexicans, you were likely shocked by the news that several state insurance companies planned to raise rates by 15, 20 or even 25 percent for the next year. It’s part of a nationwide trend that we’ve seen over the past few months that shows no sign of slowing down. These drastic rate increases highlighted a problem that hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans face. Even if you have health insurance, it is often neither affordable nor secure and the rising costs are putting a squeeze on everyone.
Right now, too many families are being hurt by out-of-control health insurance costs, too many individuals are being denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions and too many small businesses are struggling with a costly and inefficient system. Over the past decade, health insurance premiums have doubled, while wages have gone up by just 3 percent. And if the trend continues, premiums will double in the next decade — costing families $25,600 a year. This is not a sustainable system.
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