If Richardson is Serious About Health Care, why not reduce mandates?

Governor Richardson wants to enact some form of universal health coverage in New Mexico by 2008. The justifications for this, latest expansion of government have been discussed ad nauseum in the media and by politicians, but what are the alternatives to socialized medicine?
President Bush’s proposal to alter the tax incentives associated with health care to make it more affordable to those who do not receive health care from their employers would be a good start. How about state reforms? The fact is that if Richardson — or any state politician — were really serious about reforming health care, they would start peeling back mandates. New Mexico mandates 45 different procedures (eight more than the national average) be included in health care coverage, thus driving health care costs up tremendously.
It would be a political challenge to take on the special interests that have fought so hard for their own particular mandate, but if health care costs are ever going to come down, mandates need to be reduced significantly or even eliminated.