The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is expected to boost New Mexico's economy and add 38,000 new jobs by 2020, according to a new report put out by the nonprofit New Mexico Voices for Children.
The report cites data from a 2009 center for American Progress study stating that NM has the highest rate of any state for "cost shifting," meaning the economic burden insured people take on to pay for health care for the uninsured. Insured families pay about $2,300 annually to cover costs of health care for the uninsured, which is the highest rate in the nation.
"The main factor driving this cost shifting is our high rate of residents who do not have insurance," NM Voices for Children spokeswoman Sharon Kayne writes SFR in an email.
The ACA will help relieve this burden on taxpayers by providing Medicaid coverage for many more New Mexicans, the report states. By 2019, 315,000 out of an estimated 444,000 uninsured New Mexicans will have coverage.
Administration of those new benefits will add jobs to the economy, Kayne says. Currently, Medicaid supports about 60,000 jobs in the state; that number is expected to approach 100,000 by 2020, when the ACA is fully implemented.
"More people seeking health care will require more providers," Kayne writes. "That includes doctors, nurses, physical therapists, office assistants, etc. There will also be new jobs not in the health care sector, but that support it – janitorial, building maintenance, IT support, etc. As the newly employed people spend their paychecks, this creates more jobs in many other sectors (retail, entertainment, construction, etc.)."