On February 18, 2022, New Mexico House of Representatives passed HM 36, which asks the Legislature to hold a hearing on uninsured patients’ hospital charges and how much public money hospitals receive to care for low-income, uninsured patients. The memorial also asks the Human Services Department (HSD) to report to the Legislature how hospitals are using public funds that should be used for the care of low-income, uninsured patients.
Hospitals receive a significant amount of public funding for the more than 200,000 uninsured patients in New Mexico, but, according to New Mexico Together for Healthcare, many hospitals still charge uninsured patients their highest prices—several times over the actual cost of services and what insurance companies pay for those services.
As a memorial, HM 36 does not require action by the governor. It goes into effect immediately upon passage.