New Mexico lawmakers worried about climbing Medicaid costs

(Stock image/MGN)

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – The price tag for providing health care to hundreds of thousands of low-income New Mexican is on the rise, and state lawmakers are concerned future costs will be unsustainable.

New Mexico is one of the states that opted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Enrollments have surged and federal aid will soon be scaled back, putting more pressure on states to come up with the difference.

Republican Rep. Jason Harper of Rio Rancho described it as a ticking time bomb.

Harper and other members of the Legislative Finance Committee discussed the program’s costs during a meeting Tuesday in Santa Fe.

State officials are requesting nearly $1 billion from the general fund for the program for the 2017 fiscal year. Included is money to cover a shortfall this year.

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