New Mexico’s Four New Health Care Mandates Take Effect

The fact that health care mandates drive up the costs of health care and help create larger numbers of uninsured is well-known and accepted. Before the 2007 legislative session, New Mexico had a relatively high number of mandates (45), but that was not enough for Governor Richardson and the Legislature. In fact, four new mandates were adopted this year and they are now in effect. The new mandates are as follows:
1) Hearing Aids/Related Services for Children Under Age 21 (SB 529);
2) General Anesthesia and Hospitalization for Dental Surgery (SB 776);
3) HPV vaccine for members aged 9 through 26 (SB 407);
4) Colorectal cancer screening tests (HB 510).
It would seem that driving up health care costs would be counterproductive as a means of achieving Richardson’s goal of providing health care coverage for all New Mexicans, but logic does not always apply to health care policy, especially in New Mexico with one of the highest rates of uninsured in the nation.