Recently it was reported that New Mexico’s proposed health insurance exchange has “stalled.” The article cited inaction from the Martinez Administration and a conflict of vision among legislators for the lack of “progress.” Everyone in the article seemed to be in agreement that failure to create a new exchange was a bad thing.
I couldn’t disagree more.
The purported demise of New Mexico’s state-run ObamaCare health insurance exchange is a good thing, not a bad one. RGF opposed ObamaCare “exchanges” from the start (even when they were a Republican idea during the Richardson Administration).
Now, it is true that the federal government will set up an exchange in New Mexico if the state doesn’t do it, but the good news is, as health care policy expert Michael Cannon writes:
Defaulting to a federal exchange exempts a state’s employers from the employer mandate — a tax of $2,000 per worker per year (the tax applies to companies with more than 50 employees, but for such companies that tax applies after the 30th employee, not the 50th). If all states did so, that would also exempt 18 million Americans from the individual mandate’s tax of $2,085 per family of four. Avoiding those taxes improves a state’s prospects for job creation, and protects the conscience rights of employers and individuals whom the Obama administration is forcing to purchase contraceptives coverage.
So, there you have it. The demise of a state-run exchange will exempt thousands of New Mexicans from an unnecessary tax increase.
There ARE several market-based reforms out there and we published this report detailing a few of them back in 2008.