GOP candidate wants Medicaid work requirement

The Latest on a gubernatorial candidate forum in New Mexico on health care for vulnerable populations (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

The sole Republican candidate for governor of New Mexico says he favors work requirements for many people enrolled in Medicaid.

U.S. Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce said Thursday at a candidate forum that he would require “able-bodied” people go back to work if they are on Medicaid.

The Trump administration in January said it would allow states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. It has already approved proposals from Kentucky, Indiana and Arkansas.

Pearce was responding to a question about how to address workforce shortages at health care provider organizations.

More than one-third of New Mexico residents are enrolled in Medicaid health care for people with low incomes and disabilities.


1:00 a.m.

Four candidates for governor of New Mexico are offering solutions to the state’s struggle to provide adequate care for the severely disabled, the elderly and residents coping with addiction and mental health issues.

Specialty health care providers are sponsoring the forum Thursday for gubernatorial candidates on questions about shortages in the health-care workforce, burdens of an aging population and responses to Medicaid reforms sought by the Trump administration.

The forum also is likely to delve into mental health issues linked to violence and the opioid addiction crisis in a state with the highest overdose death rate in the western U.S.

Candidates for governor include Republican Congressman Steve Pearce and three contenders for the Democratic nomination: U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, state Sen. Joseph Cervantes and former media executive Jeff Apodaca.

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