Faith-Based Medicaid Policy


You’ll find no better exemplar of the left’s cluelessness on Medicaid than yesterday’s Albuquerque Journal op-ed by State Rep. Deborah Armstrong.

The Albuquerque Democrat asserted that through Medicaid, New Mexico is “fully insuring and providing quality health care for well over one-third of the population.”

Wrong and wrong. Medicaid is not insurance. It is welfare. It is a government program funded by tax dollars, and administered by politicians and bureaucrats. Calling it “insurance” doesn’t make it so. Facts are stubborn things. Whether ones supports or opposes welfare, Medicaid is welfare.

Furthermore, Medicaid does not provide “quality health care.” Compared to the insured, its patients fare worse on a wide range of maladies, from heart disease to cancer, strokes to pneumonia, vascular disease to childhood asthma.

Finally, in the next fiscal year, the state will not “spend $976.9 million to provide Medicaid services.” That’s the funny math of New Mexico budgeting, which counts only revenue generated in the Land of Enchantment toward expenditures. In actuality, Medicaid expenditures will be in the neighborhood of $6 billion.

Tomorrow, Rio Grande Foundation President Paul Gessing will testify in Santa Fe on the economics of Medicaid — the poor-quality care it provides, as well as the fallacy that “the multiplier effect” from expanding the program will aid the state’s economy. Hopefully, Rep. Armstrong will be listening. She has a lot to learn about Medicaid.