Report Touting Medicaid Expansion Sparks Controversy in New Mexico

Let's say it makes a lot of assumptions


It sounds almost too good to be true: Expand Medicaid in New Mexico by enrolling tens of thousands of people and instead of costing the state money it ends up saving millions of dollars.

That's what University of New Mexico economist Dr. Lee Reynis says but she has her skeptics.

Last week, Dr. Reynis presented her findings to the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee in Santa Fe and told lawmakers, "Medicaid expansion … pretty much pays for itself."

The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known by some as "Obamacare") offers individual states a chance to expand Medicaid. Reynis says should New Mexico take the deal, her modeling predicts 1,500 new jobs in health care will be created by 2014, 5,000 new jobs will be added by 2020, with spending by those new workers resulting in additional hiring that she says could lead to 10,000 jobs altogether.