What Should New Mexico do about Medicaid?

(Albuquerque) One of the most important decisions facing state policymakers in the months ahead is whether or not to expand their Medicaid programs. Under President Obama’s health care law – as originally written – known as the “Affordable Care Act” or “ObamaCare,” the states would have been required to expand their Medicaid programs to 138 percent of poverty level.

This requirement was struck down by the US Supreme Court, but states are being strongly incentivized to expand Medicaid with the “carrot” of federal matching grants of up to 100% initially. Advocates say that New Mexico should take the “free” money and eagerly expand their Medicaid programs.

Dr. Deane Waldman, an adjunct scholar with the Rio Grande Foundation and a practicing pediatric cardiologist, has a different perspective. In his new report, “What Should New Mexico Do About Medicaid,” which is available here, he explains the issues with Medicaid from both the doctors’ and patients’ perspectives.

Waldman explains the major differences between Medicare and Medicaid, outlines some of the serious problems with Medicaid, and gives examples of Medicaid reforms that have worked in other states like Florida.

Argues Waldman of the Medicaid expansion decision, it “may look like free money, but we all know: a) there is no such thing; b) who will not get the money – providers; and c) who will not get services – patients. Medicaid will follow the same path as Medicare. More and more money will go to the bureaucracy, while less and less will go to people who actually care for patients.”

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6 Replies to “What Should New Mexico do about Medicaid?”

  1. Medicaid is free to the looter class of Obama constituents. It is paid for by those of us who work. This is typical of liberal thinking. Since they are freeloaders, all the federal “programs” (read: tax money stolen from working people and given away to freeloaders) are “free” to them.

    Of course there is no free lunch. But, as usual, the freeloaders the liberals depend on for votes get theirs free year after year at our expense.

    End Medicaid.

  2. Whether or how health care services are expanded is pointless until people know that the shortage of doctors in this country is a product of Congress failing to increase the size of medical schools. Capacity of our medical schools is a product of congressional failures to allow expansion.
    Certainly New Mexico has a shortage of doctors and always will.

  3. I agree with George that New Mexico has a shortage of doctors. However, there are other causes of the shortage besides medical school size. New Mexico has a great number of small to very small communities that lack any kind of meaningful social life. Doctors and their families desire this social life. If they can’t have it where they are they will leave. This has always existed and is the reason that most doctors prefer larger, more socially active communities. Small towns whose only music venues are rap, latino and country will not retain educated professionals.

  4. In dental health care, the private Medicaid dollars are often sourced to fraudulent operations. It’s gotten so lucrative (fraud), that private equity business has gotten in on the act. Bloomberg Business News has run multiple investigative reports, as has Frontline (PBS), & Byron Harris out of Dallas.

    I’m absolutely NOT anti-business nor anti-PE firms. However, these groups set up a totally different playing field, versus small business dentistry. Fraud & patient abuse become an effective business model, w/ few consequences.

    Michael W Davis, DDS

  5. The shortage of physicians is not related to the size nor number of medical schools, but rather to the myriad distortions of the medical services marketplace created by government interventions. There is little left of the free market in either the training of doctors or the delivery of medical service. With he State controlling nearly every aspect of medical practice it is no surprise that we have shortages, corruption, and waste.

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