Senate advances Rep. Thomson’s initiative

Santa Fe – Today, the Senate passed a bill to protect health care coverage for New Mexicans with pre-existing conditions. House Bill 436, sponsored by Reps. Elizabeth "Liz" Thomson (D-Albuquerque), Debbie Armstrong (D-Albuquerque), William B. Pratt (D-Albuquerque), Christine Trujillo (D-Albuquerque) and Micaela Lara Cadena (D-Mesilla) would add core protections for pre-existing conditions into New Mexico law.

Currently, 332,000 New Mexicans under the age of 65 live with pre-existing conditions, including asthma, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. With the passage of House Bill 436, consumers in New Mexico will continue to be protected from discrimination in the health insurance market even if pre-existing condition protections are eliminated at the federal level.

“Protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions will have a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans and assure families that they will have access to the health care they need. This bill shows all New Mexicans that we have their backs and will never stop fighting for them," said Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson.

Before enactment of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could deny people coverage due to pre-existing conditions, charge women more than men, set caps on coverage, and refuse to cover essential benefits like maternity care and substance abuse treatment.

House Bill 436 now heads to the Governor. All House Republicans voted against the measure when it was heard in the House of Representatives.