Opinion Pieces Discuss Richardson's Health Care Reform Proposals

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Health Care Reform

The Santa Fe New Mexican on Saturday featured opinion pieces on presidential candidate and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's (D) national and state health care reform proposals. Summaries appear below.

  • Laurence Jacobs, New Mexican:Richardson is "dead wrong when he insists on preserving a role for theprivate insurance industry in health care; that industry is theproblem, not the solution," Jacobs, a professor emeritus of medicineand member of Physicians for a National Health Program, writes in a New Mexicanopinion piece. Jacobs says, "Our system is failing because it's basedon a private insurance model, in which the main objective is not theprovision of health care but the making of profit." He continues, "This'industry' perversely increases its operating margins when it deniescare," adding, "What other business makes more money when it providesless product?" Jacobs adds, "We are the only industrialized country onthe face of the Earth that doesn't provide comprehensive healthinsurance for all its citizens, and this is a disgrace" (Jacobs, Santa Fe New Mexican, 11/17).
  • Alfredo Vigil, New Mexican:Richardson's Health Solutions New Mexico plan "represents substantialchange and major challenges" and means "increased access, betteraffordability and more accountability," Vigil, cabinet secretary forthe state Department of Health, writes in a New Mexican opinion piece (Vigil, Santa Fe New Mexican,11/17). Under Richardson's proposal, the state would phase in arequirement that people obtain private health coverage, enroll in astate-subsidized program or provide documentation showing they havesufficient financial resources to afford health care expenses out ofpocket (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report,11/30). Vigil writes that it is "unacceptable and unethical" for stateresidents to be uninsured because the "health care system andinfrastructure that care for uninsured patients when they do seek careis substantially weaker and more fragile" because medical personnel"can't get compensated for their work." He concludes, "I believe Gov.Richardson's Health Solutions New Mexico plan offers the bestopportunity to end this crisis and move toward health care and coveragefor every New Mexican" (Vigil, Santa Fe New Mexican, 11/17).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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