Bingaman highlights benefits of health insurance reform bill for New Mexicans

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today pointed to the many provisions in the health insurance reform legislation that would benefit New Mexicans.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Bingaman said the measure that merged the work of two Senate committees would help make health care more affordable for families and small businesses, and extend coverage to uninsured New Mexicans — and it is done in a fiscally responsible manner that actually reduces the deficit by more than $130 billion over the next 10 years.

“Among other things, this bill would create a system that helps to prevent illness and disease instead of just treating it when it’s too late and when the cost is excessive. This proposal will reduce health care fraud and waste and abuse and overpayment to insurance companies. It’s estimated by most experts in the range of $60 billion per year under the current arrangements we have, the current health care delivery system,” Bingaman said.

“Additionally, this legislation would eliminate most of the cost of uncompensated care. This is a very substantial part of the premium that people with health insurance are required to pay. They are not only paying for their own health care when they pay their premium, they are paying for the uncompensated care that the hospitals and the physicians and others are providing to people who don’t have insurance,” he added.

Bingaman also said this legislation would no longer allow health insurance companies to discriminate against Americans with pre-existing medical conditions.

New Mexicans are experiencing rapid growth in their insurance premiums, and Bingaman pointed out in his speech that the legislation aims to address that serious problem.

“Let me talk a little about the impact of this[Marker] legislation on my state. I represent New Mexico and, frankly, this legislation is critically important to my state. Without health care reform my state is expected to experience the largest increase in health insurance premiums of any state in the union. For example, the