Friday, February 01, 2008

Health Security Act is Moving!

marjorie says...

It's good to see the Health Security Act get some traction at the Roundhouse. And I can't help but fantasize about what would happen if Bill Richardson (being the firebrand that he is) threw all that righteous anger he has on behalf of New Mexico's uninsured squarely behind the HSA. It would be a truly dynamic and, frankly, revolutionary moment. New Mexico would then truly be at the forefront of the national effort to solve our health care crisis. In many ways we already are, in so far as the Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign has blazed a path toward being a real contender in the big question of how to provide health care to everyone. The Bill itself has been carefully crafted, drawing on input from a wide cross-section of the public. Year in and year out the organizers have painstakingly educated the public, other organizations as well as many businesses, and elected officials to build an impressive, broad-based coalition of supporters. The HSA would provide health care for all New Mexicans by creating one insurance pool that handles the money, while retaining our private delivery system, i.e. hospitals, doctors, clinics, etc.

But Bill Richardson says the HSA "won't work" and instead, he says, we have to simply make better our private insurance based system. He doesn't explain exactly why the HSA "won't work" and adds that after our private insurance based system is made friendlier, poor people will then be required to purchase it. And then, our system will be "universal." Predictably, this sounds a lot like the approach the other major Democratic contenders for the Presidential nomination have taken. And one reason the legislature isn't embracing Richardson's plan is that its not quite clear exactly how health care becomes "universal" under his plan. Oh, wait...back up. It becomes "universal" because poor people will then be required to purchase it. And of course we all know that every single person *will* buy it (that's sarcasm if you couldn't tell). Universal indeed.