Obama and New Mexico’s Health Care Authority

It is clear Obama is going to move aggressively on health care reform, including it as a cornerstone of his economic recovery package. Kevin Sack, in his op-ed entitled, “Necessary Medicine?” in this Sunday’s New York Times, cites Obama himself:

To broaden support for his plan — whatever it ends up being — he [Obama] insisted last week that systematic improvements in health care would be essential to any lasting economic recovery.

“It’s not something that we can sort of put off because we’re in an emergency,” he said. “This is part of the emergency.”

Mr. Obama said his health plan would be “intimately woven into” his administration’s economic blueprint. And he directly confronted those who might ask how the country could afford a major expansion of health coverage in times of shrinking revenues and burgeoning deficits. “I ask a different question,” Mr. Obama said. “I ask how can we afford not to?”

The state of health care in New Mexico is, to paraphrase Civil Rights organizer Bob Moses, like a boat in the ocean with a hole in it. You have to stay afloat to fix the boat, and fix the boat to stay afloat. Continue reading

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Evidence? What a Novel Concept!

One of the most disconcerting aspects of politics is the ascendancy of policies that are without merit. Examples of this dynamic on the federal level include the 2001 and 2003 federal tax cuts.

The so-called red light program is a local example of the very same dynamic. Remember, the red light program was ostensibly developed for public safety reasons, not to pad the city budget.

When policy is made by way of blind ideology, or to mask budgetary shortcomings, we the people eventually pay the price.

Nowhere is this truer than in the realm of health care.

For years, even decades, there have been discussions about how to cover more people, while simultaneously preventing insurance premiums from outpacing inflation. Needless to say, trends indicate an abject failure on both fronts. Continue reading