Health Care Reform as Economic Stimulus?

It never ceases to amaze me how frequently articles get published in the Albuquerque Journal on particular issues with little or nothing in the way of empirical evidence for that particular point of view. You may disagree with the Rio Grande Foundation perspective, but at least we back up our arguments with facts and examples rather than mere conjecture. The article, “Health-Care Reform the Best Stimulus,” which appeared in the paper on Monday is a perfect example.
The article approaches the health care issue in a rather conventional way talking about the cost of care and the number of uninsured, but that’s about it as far as the problems and causes of our current health care system are concerned. A quote from President Obama is then trotted out:

“Obama himself has acknowledged the need to reform health care and invest in publicly funded programs to help alleviate the financial crisis. “The time has come — this year, in this new administration — to modernize our health-care system for the 21st century; to reduce costs for families and businesses; and to finally provide affordable, accessible health care for every American.” He added that health reform, “has to be interwoven into our economic recovery program…This can’t be put off because we’re in an emergency. This is part of the emergency!”

But that’s it. The authors recommend that New Mexico create a supposedly “independent” Health Care Authority as the solution, but make no mention of the exact policies that would save money and insure larger numbers of New Mexicans (or Americans for that matter). Rather than empowering an authority imbued with mythical powers and the ability to remain independent of political considerations despite the fact that literally billions of dollars are at stake, here are some real solutions for our health care problems that, if adopted, would improve our health care system.
Of course, the authors of the article give no specifics about how their plan would stimulate the economy, but at least our proposed solutions are limited to health care, not solving our entire economic situation.