New Mexico still faces massive health care problems

Despite some modest efforts to address New Mexico’s growing health care crisis during the 2023 legislative session (ending GRT on doctors, reforming parts of its medical malpractice law) the State continues to face serious issues with its health care system.

For starters, hospitals were not addressed in the recent medical malpractice reform. Their cap is currently at $4.5 million and is heading to $6 million by 2026. Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center CEO Lillian Montoya cited a 110% to 200% increase in insurance premiums.

According to the Albuquerque Journal rural hospitals are closing their obstetrics wards creating “maternity care deserts.” Reasons given include staffing issues  and low reimbursement from Medicaid. 47% of New Mexicans are on Medicaid according to the Legislative Finance Committee.

According to so-called “progressives” in the Legislature the “solution” is to simply expand Medicaid. According to the ABQ Journal, the idea is to open the door for nearly all nonelderly New Mexicans under 65 to enroll in Medicaid.

Further expansion of Medicaid would likely suffer from the same issues as it did when it was expanded under ObamaCare. No significant health improvements occurred under that law. 

While health care and the issues New Mexico is facing our not unique, the State should consider reforming its medical malpractice law relating to hospitals while also working to encourage New Mexicans to obtain private insurance rather than further expanding Medicaid.