SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico would study opportunities to allow almost anyone to buy Medicaid health care coverage under a measure approved by the state House of Representatives.

House lawmakers voted 42-22 on Monday to move forward with initial studies toward opening up access to Medicaid services for a fee to more people. A Senate vote was still needed to initiate the year-long study by the Legislature and state insurance regulators.

Democratic Rep. Deborah Armstrong says several states are studying the potential to provide more affordable coverage to consumers through a Medicaid buy-in program. She says the state’s managed care system for Medicaid provides lower-cost care per person than the private marketplace.

Republican Rep. Larry Larranaga of Albuquerque says he does not see the need for a buy-in program given current insurance options.

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