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Morning Word: Healthcare Changes Could Hit NM Hard

March 22, 2017, 7:30 am

Fed Changes Could Cost Medicaid
With money scarce and a projected $140 million cost to keep New Mexicans added under Obamacare on Medicaid, the program faces an uncertain future. Lower reimbursement rates from the feds and a cap on yearly benefits could affect everyone on the plan, especially seniors in nursing homes.

State Ponders Medicaid Copays
The federal debate on repealing Obamacare takes place as New Mexico is already considering adding copays and other cost-sharing measures for things like hospital visits. Medicaid is a huge chunk of the state's budget, with more than 40 percent of New Mexicans enrolled in the program—that's more than 900,000 people.

What Would That State Government Shutdown Look Like?
In answer to a budget that would require the governor to either cut spending or raise taxes and fees, Susana Martinez threatened a shutdown and promised to call lawmakers back to the Capitol to resolve the mess. The first step could look something like closing museums and state parks. That would hit all of New Mexico, but Santa Fe would hurt disproportionately.

City Slows Speed SUV Return
A city council committee asked for more details about the proposed return of speed-tracking and ticketing SUVs to Santa Fe streets. Police say they handle relatively easy work without adding manpower and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Maybe the new ones are bulletproof, too?

Welcome to New Mexico, Get Out of the Car
Mayor RJ Berry likes to refer to the Sunport in Albuquerque as "New Mexico's front porch." Well, yesterday afternoon, David Carpenter got held at gunpoint as carjackers visited the porch.

Gov's UNM Regents Picks Can't Serve
A long-running feud with the state Senate and Rules Committee Chairwoman Linda Lopez seems to be the reason Jack Fortner and Bradley Hosmer will stay on as regents at UNM despite the governor having picked replacements. The governor's picks to replace the long-serving pair did not get a confirmation hearing and cannot serve.

Wind Farm
Xcel Energy plans to spend $1.6 billion to build two new wind farms, including New Mexico's largest. The projects will be in eastern New Mexico and likely serve customers in that part of the state as well as West Texas.

Storm's A-Comin'
It's going to be windy today as a storm front moves into the state. The best chance of seeing anything more than wind and cooler temperatures from the storm will be in high elevations and way out east. Ski areas are closing fast after another lackluster February-March stretch, so this is it.

Thanks for reading! The Word reminds you that it's "for all intents and purposes," not "all intensive purposes." Unless, of course, you're actually talking about intensive purposes.

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