Single-Payer Cheaper than Current Health System?

There has been a great deal of talk recently about health care reform in New Mexico, in part, because Governor Richardson is likely to dub the 2008 legislative session “the year of health care” and use the session to push for some kind of major health care reform.
The major proposals are known as the “Health Security Act” (single payer system), “New Mexico Health Choices” (taxpayer-subsidized vouchers), and the “Health Coverage Plan” (expansion of existing government programs like Medicaid). Specifics of all three are outlined on page 14 of this document.
With momentum building for some kind of reform, it was troubling to read that a firm known as Mathematica, which is studying each proposal, recently found that the single-payer plan would save taxpayers money. This drew a quick response.
I’m not going to judge the credibility of Mathematica before their final report is issued and I understand that the analyst made “heroic assumptions,” but Canada’s problems with single-payeer care are well-known and socialism has a rather poor track record in health care, not to mention the Soviet Union.
Rather than more government, what New Mexico needs is to peel back government involvement in health care. That may take more time than simply imposing a socialist model, but it is the only one that will work.

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