House Democratic Bills Aim to Improve Rural Healthcare

House Democratic Bills Aim to Improve Rural Healthcare

Proposals to Increase Healthcare Workforce and Expand Tax Credits for Rural Practitioners Will Be Heard Monday

Santa Fe, NM – Two Democratic bills aimed at expanding and bolstering the rural healthcare workforce will be heard by the House Health and Human Services Committee on Monday morning. HB 68, sponsored by Reps. Miguel Garcia (D-Albuquerque) and Tomás Salazar (D-Las Vegas), expands the rural health care practitioners tax credit to include licensed counselors, pharmacists, and social workers. HB 126, sponsored by House Majority Whip Doreen Gallegos (D-Las Cruces), would give preferences to medical students, who are applying for loans to practice in underserved areas, if they attend a post-secondary school in New Mexico. Both bills are part of an effort to address rural health disparities.

“Families who live in rural and underserved areas are more likely to be uninsured and suffer more health problems,” said Rep. Salazar. “We must take steps to ensure that people do not suffer or lose access to critical services simply based on their zip code.”

“We must both encourage and incentivize our best and brightest to stay right here in New Mexico,” said Rep. Gallegos. “By financial assisting medical students who both attend school right here and pledge to work in our underserved areas, we are simultaneously helping both our next generation of medical professionals and our hardworking rural families who have trouble accessing the basic healthcare services that every citizen deserves.”

Both bills are slated to be heard next week. HB 68 is scheduled for Monday at 8:30am, Room 315 and HB 126 is scheduled for Wednesday at the same time and room.