The White House celebrated the increase of income growth and health insurance coverage along with a decrease of poverty in New Mexico between 2014 and 2015. “New Mexico has added jobs consistently and brought its unemployment rate down, though it’s still a little higher than the national average,” White House Council of Economic Advisers chairman Jason Furman said on a conference call with reporters Thursday. While New Mexico remains one of the poorest states in the nation, the new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show that things are trending upwards in these key indicators. Still, the growth in these areas was smaller than in other states. The median household income grew by 5.2 percent between 2014 and 2015 in the United States as a whole from $53,718 to $56,516 according to the Census Bureau numbers.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – More children in New Mexico and around the nation now have health coverage. According to a new report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, the rate of uninsured children dropped to a historic low of six percent nationally in 2014, the year the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect. Abuko Estrada, staff attorney with the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, cites the state’s decision to expand Medicaid under the ACA as a significant factor for the increased coverage of children in the state. He says the move helped create what he calls a “welcome mat effect” when adults went looking for insurance. “Because their parents were going to see what options they had to get coverage under the Affordable Care Act, we were able to capture some of those kids that were missing,” he says.
Another study has found that the amount of uninsured New Mexicans fell since the passage of health care overhaul legislation. This time, the U.S. Census Bureau released data on Wednesday that showed the uninsured rate in New Mexico fell from 18.6 percent in 2013 to 14.5 percent in 2014, one of the largest drops in the nation. Nationwide numbers showed a drop from 13.3 percent to 10.4 percent. The numbers are in line with other recent uninsured rate numbers that showed improvements both in New Mexico and nationwide. A Gallup poll from earlier this year showed New Mexico’s uninsured rate at 13.1 percent, from 20.2 percent in 2013.
While New Mexico still is not among the leaders in lowest uninsured rate, the percentage of uninsured since the passage of health care reform legislation has dropped more than 7 percentage points. The numbers from Gallup come from a large nationwide poll that showed uninsured rates have fallen massively in recent years, to the point where five states now have rates under 5 percent. In New Mexico, 13.1 percent are still uninsured. This is compared to 20.2 percent in 2013, before the health care overhaul, known as the Affordable Care Act, became law. In other words, the uninsured rate has dropped 7.1 percentage points.