21 June 2007

New Mexico looks at reform

A committee in New Mexico is looking at three plans that were analyzed by Mathematica, a Lewin competitor in the independent number crunching business. The three plans are:

• The Health Security Act, which would reduce the role of private insurance and was the least expensive of the three;
• The New Mexico Health Choices Plan, which would create a voucher system, and would be the most expensive;
• The Health Coverage Plan for New Mexicans, which would leverage public insurance while retaining private insurance.

What does that mean? Would "leverage" public insurance? It sounds like a junk bond scam.

The writer warned readers off the single-payer choice: "Because of a federal law concerning self-insured employers, it could face monumental legal challenges," says the reporter about the (almost) single-payer choice. "Also, Gov. Bill Richardson has said he wouldn’t support a single-payer system."

We all might tell Gov. Richardson that if he's going to take the most sensible, cost-effective solution off the table before it's even really given a chance, he should certainly be off the table when it comes to choosing a Democratic presidential candidate.

And this option isn't even actually single-payer. Mathematica reports: “However, the Health Security Plan probably would not ever be the only payer in New Mexico, and whether there is much provider administrative to be captured is uncertain.”

The "Choices" plan has Medicaid as 64 percent of its enrollment. Wow. Both it and the almost-single-payer plan "would essentially strip away employer-sponsored coverage. They also would get rid of individual private coverage, except for supplemental policies, the report says."

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