Pam Hyde Lives in an Alternative Universe

Pam Hyde, New Mexico’s Secretary of Human Services, wrote about Governor Richardson’s health care proposal in today’s Albuquerque Journal. The headline of the article “Health Plan no Burden on Business” summarizes Hyde’s argument nicely. Unfortunately, it doesn’t hold water.
Hyde states that because some employers offer their employees health care as a benefit that forcing businesses that do not offer coverage and thus would be forced under Richardson’s proposal to pay into a special fund. Somehow, this is supposed to be good for business because it “evens the playing field” between those businesses that do and those that do not offer health insurance.
Hyde apparently believes that paying for an employee’s health care should be yet another cost of doing business in New Mexico, even if that worker is part time. That is not “evening the playing field,” it is a new tax that will chase businesses out of the state and make New Mexico even more unattractive to entrepreneurs.