Journal Op-eds Miss the Mark on Health Care

No wonder the health care debate here in New Mexico has gotten so off track. The policymakers and advocates seem to have little or no understanding not just of markets, but of how bureaucracies actually operate. Two opinion pieces that somehow managed to get published in today’s Albuquerque Journal are perfect examples.
The first article, “Start Health Care Reform in ’08,” by Charlotte Roybal of the Health Care for All campaign first discusses New Mexico’s failure, despite reports to the otherwise, to reduce uninsured numbers. Fine, without reform, little change is to be expected.
Roybal then goes on to discuss the Governor’s proposed Health Care Authority and how it would slash administrative costs and should generally be accountable. Of course, no specifics are offered, but plenty of buzzwords like “transparency”, “meeting health care policy needs”, and “clear balance of power.” None of this actually gets to the heart of what the Authority will actually do and how it is supposed to control health care costs (in reality that will be rationing), but we’ll just figure it all out after it passes I suppose.
The second article, Health Care Fixes Require Thought, by Dr. J. Deane Waldman at the University of New Mexico, starts out like the author is making a case for Evidence Based Medicine, a concept that would bring the scientific method to health care. The practice, while it sounds good, if imposed in a bureaucratic and governmentally-controlled system, would result in utter stagnation in innovation as doctors would be unable to offer new and patient-unique treatments.
Strangely, the author does not dwell on the topic and instead launches into the doctor and nurse shortage in New Mexico, all without mentioning that we are one of the only states nationwide that taxes health care services under the gross receipts/sales tax. There are many reasons that fewer Americans are studying to be doctors and nurses, but the most important one is socialism. We have a quasi-socialized system already and we are on the verge of going all the way. The only way to improve health care is by restoring the individual to the equation, not by adding more government on top of what we already have.

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