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          Front Page


February 25, 2003



Bill To Generate Medicaid Revenue Passes House



   
   
The Associated Press
    SANTA FE   —   A measure to generate more money to help pay for the growing cost of Medicaid won approval in the House on Tuesday.
    The legislation is a critical part of a blueprint by the House for financing state government next year, said Rep. Max Coll, D-Santa Fe, chairman of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.
    The proposal would eliminate an insurance premium tax exemption provided for state payments to Medicaid managed-care companies.
    By imposing the tax, the state will have to spend an estimated $7 million to cover the higher payments to providers. However, the increased state spending will be subject to federal matching money. For every $1 spent by the state on Medicaid, the federal government provides $3.
    Coll said the legislation should generate a total $28 million   —   netting $21 million from the federal government   —   that will help New Mexico finance Medicaid.
    A proposed state budget by the Appropriations and Finance Committee takes into account the additional revenues anticipated from the premium tax legislation.
    The bill passed 57-1 and was sent to the Senate.
    Voting against the proposal was Rep. Rory Ogle, R-Albuquerque.