From the Congressional Budget Office report: a single-payer healthcare system “costs will be lower than what even the most rabid Medicare for All supporters have traditionally claimed.” This bodes well for the Health Security in NM, the most supported bill in early Retake survey results.
Quick reminder to Raise Your Voice by completing Retake Our Democracy’s 2021 Legislative Priorities Survey. It takes but 5-10 minutes and will be a powerful tool in advocating for bills in the 2021 legislative session. In only one day over 150 New Mexicans have ‘raised their voices’ by taking the survey. Early returns show that the Health Security Act is the most supported bill in the survey, surprisingly even leading Decriminalizing Abortion. Other bills enjoying strong support in order: in third, Permanent Fund for Early Childhood, followed by State Public Bank, Legalizing Cannabis, and The Green Amendment. Click here to take the survey. And please help on this, view it as a Call to Action. Don’t just take the bill send a link to others and encourage them to take it too. It only takes 5-10 minutes to complete.
Before we examine the improving prospects of passing the Health Security Plan in 2021, an item that will bring a smile to your face.
From The Washington Post: “Mar-a-Lago neighbors to Trump: Spend your post-presidency elsewhere”. Residents of the development adjacent to Mar-a-Lago have taken legal action; they do not want Trump to be allowed to return to Mar-a-Lago and they may just have a legal case.
“That message was formally delivered Tuesday morning in a demand letter delivered to the town of Palm Beach and also addressed to the U.S. Secret Service asserting that Trump lost his legal right to live at Mar-a-Lago because of an agreement he signed in the early 1990s when he converted the storied estate from his private residence to a private club. The legal maneuver could, at long last, force Palm Beach to publicly address whether Trump can make Mar-a-Lago his legal residence and home, as he has been expected to do, when he becomes an ex-president after the swearing-in of Joe Biden on Jan. 20.”The Washington Post: “Mar-a-Lago neighbors to Trump: Spend your post-presidency elsewhere”
Trump may not have to worry about this legal challenge, as a growing legal investigation in NY, which can’t be pardoned away, may find Trump a far less plush, albeit more secure residence…. behind bars.
A Message to NM Legislature: Medicare for All Works
For over 25 years, Health Security for New Mexicans has been introduced in the Roundhouse and has never been given the green light. But several factors have changed its prospects in 2021:
- A significant change in composition of both the House and Senate, with many moderate and conservative legislators being shown the door by voters who want bolder policy from their representatives–as Senate Leader Wirth stated, “the stars are aligned;”
- A pandemic that has illustrated just how flawed, a heavily employer-based health coverage system is in volatile economic times, with thousands of unemployed New Mexicans losing their coverage…during a pandemic;
- A new approach to the act itself that will make it easier for legislators to take the leap, an approach modeled after how universal healthcare in Canada advanced (see below);
- The release of an independent NM study showing significant cost savings when compared with projected future healthcare costs; (click here for Retake post on the study);
- A state fiscal environment that has forced Democratic leadership to examine any and all means of reducing long-term costs; and now
- The release of the largest study ever conducted on Medicare for All, a study conducted by the Congressional Budget Office that identifies staggering savings, universal coverage, and a reduction in administrative costs that far exceeded even the most strident M4A proponents.
Indeed, the stars may well be aligned. Finally. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Thursday released a report examining the costs associated with universal healthcare proposals that are based on Medicare’s fee-for-service program and found that implementing a single-payer health insurance program in the United States would not only guarantee coverage for every person in the country but would also reduce overall healthcare spending nationwide.
Researcher Matt Bruenig—founder and president of the progressive think tank People’s Policy Project called the CBO’s working paper on the topic “more exhaustive than any other recent study on the subject”
“Overall,” he continued, “the study confirms what serious Medicare for All analysts have known for some time now: It is possible to provide high-quality public health insurance to every person in the country while also saving money overall on health spending.”
Bruenig added that “the barriers to the policy are not technical deficiencies or costs, but rather political opposition from Republicans and conservative Democrats who would rather spend more money to provide less healthcare.” Sarcasm aside, there are strong forces who oppose any and all efforts to create any health system that reduces the role of the insurance industry. As noted by Senator Ortiz y Pino: “The insurance industry will jump all over it,” Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, said recently.
To make the Health Security Act more palatable to skeptical legislators, Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign, the decades long advocacy group promoting the legislation, has designed the bill to only require the state to conduct a plan and design phase through which all the details of how the coverage would operate would be determined. Legislators would then be asked to vote again and authorize forming a Commission to implement the plan. This will afford the legislators and governor an opportunity to see more precisely how the act would function before fully advancing. Click here to review Retake’s one-page summary on the 2021 Health Security Act.
This approach, with planning and design phase before implementation, was utilized in the province of Saskatchewan. To review an excellent piece on how Saskatchewan designed and implemented its health system–the predecessor to the model now employed nationwide in Canada, you can download the pdf here:
Imagine that for a moment: New Mexico leads the nation forward, proves the efficacy of universal healthcare leading the entire nation to FINALLY do what has been done in most every other developed nation on earth.
According to Bruenig, “Modeling the cost of a single-payer program is relatively straightforward. You begin with the status quo healthcare system and then make educated guesses about the following questions:
- How many more units of healthcare services will be demanded and supplied when price barriers are removed?
- How much more efficient will health insurance administration be after the enrollment and payment systems are radically simplified?
- How much money will be saved by reducing the payment rates for healthcare providers and drug companies?”
“In its analysis, the CBO looked at several distinct single-payer designs and determined that four such systems—fully implemented by 2030—would save anywhere from $42 billion to $743 billion that year alone….The analysis shows that administrative costs under a single-payer healthcare system ‘will be lower than what even the most rabid Medicare for All supporters have traditionally claimed.’ “
Breunig went on to describe how the model in the study that most approximates the approach proposed in US legislation would lead to $650 billion in savings in 2030.
Call to action: Even with a mountain of evidence and a growingly obvious need for universal healthcare, legislators will need to be pushed to advance the Health Security, This is why Retake is working with other allies to form Senate District specific teams who will then moderate Zoom conversations with their Senator in late December and early January. It is effortless to join a team. Simply sign up by clicking here and we will get back to you about when and how this will be done.
Paul & Roxanne
Categories: Healthcare & Coverage