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ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico, a state that hovers near the top of national poverty and uninsured rankings, plans to follow provisions of a federal health care law to expand Medicaid to potentially provide medical services to 170,000 low-income adults, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez announced Wednesday.
New Mexico will join at least 15 other states and the District of Columbia in broadening eligibility for the health care program under terms of a health care overhaul championed by President Barack Obama. New Mexico and Nevada are the only states with GOP governors to so far commit to the Medicaid expansion.
Martinez made the announcement Wednesday in Albuquerque, prompting cheers and applause from some of those listening to her speech at a conference on child welfare and juvenile justice.
“Access to health insurance has the potential to impact the well-being of our families so that our kids can learn better in school and so mom and dad can be better parents and more productive employees,” Martinez said.
About a fifth of the state’s population lacks health care, and only Texas, Nevada and Louisiana had higher uninsured rates, according to the Census Bureau.
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