Will Socialism Attract Doctors to New Mexico?

One of the most frustrating aspects of working in public policy is the vast number of policy advocates out there who advocate undertaking policies on behalf of some public good (like attracting more doctors to New Mexico), but fail to realize that their preferred policies, if enacted, would have the exact opposite effect from what they advocate and wish. One recent example of this is the policies advocated by Frank G. Hesse, M.D., Chairman of New Mexico’s Health Policy Commission who wrote about the need for more doctors in New Mexico in the Albuquerque Journal.
While going through all the dire numbers about the absence of doctors, dentists, and other providers in New Mexico, he concludes saying, “There is a great hope that a universal health insurance program will be adopted, improving health care.” This sentence certainly made me do a double take. As we pointed out in a policy paper, “Governor Richardson’s Health Care Plan:
Enslaving Physicians and Destroying Private Health Care” which analyzed Governor Richardson’s original “universal” health care proposal, his plan contained price controls, including strict controls placed on doctors’ salaries, which would simply chase more providers out of state.
It is true that a socialized health care scheme enacted on a national basis might not have the immediate impact such a plan would have were it enacted in New Mexico only, but it seems hard to believe that working for the federal government is an attractive option for most doctors and those students now exploring making a costly investment in medical school.