Author Archives: Nick Estes

Testifying About the Benefits of Health Care Reform

Bill Jordan and I testified recently in Las Cruces about the health and economic benefits to the state from fully implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The audience was the Legislative Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee. Bill explained that $8 to $11 billion of new federal funds for health care will enter the state economy as [...]

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Children’s Medicaid enrollment still flat as your hat

Each month, the Human Services Department posts figures showing the number of people in different categories enrolled in Medicaid (with a four-month lag). They just released the numbers for October 2011, broken down by adults and children and by various categories. The reports are available here. Once again, children’s enrollment was down to 336,436. This [...]

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The Economic Benefits of Health Care Reform in New Mexico

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Federal health care reform (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009, or ACA) will provide health insurance to an estimated 315,000 previously uninsured New Mexicans. In doing so, it will bring billions of new federal dollars into our state’s economy, creating many new jobs, and generating over $1 billion in new state and [...]

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When it Comes to Political Rhetoric, Seeing Can be Believing

Politicos on both sides of the aisle make accusations about the “other side” all the time. What’s almost as bad as the ugly partisanship is the fact that they’re making very simple claims about very complex subjects. So it’s refreshing when some group puts down the basic facts in a simple-to-follow format like the charts [...]

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Medicaid, Lawsuits, and Strange Bedfellows

Politics can make for strange bedfellows. In an unusual break with the Obama administration, several prominent Democrats in Congress have filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in the Supreme Court, urging that private citizens be allowed to sue states that are not fulfilling their obligation to provide health care to eligible Medicaid recipients if [...]

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Don’t Crash the Economy Over the Myth That Spending is Out Of Control

Some members of Congress are driving the United States and the world to the brink of economic disaster on the grounds that they have to stop “out-of control” government spending. This is a dangerous myth and it’s about to steer us over a cliff—completely unnecessarily. There are two big drivers of our current government spending, and [...]

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An Intelligent (and Humane) Approach to Deficit Reduction

Everyone should take a close look at The People’s Budget, published on the website of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. It is very readable and it offers a reasonable and humane alternative to both the Ryan and the Obama plans for deficit reduction. The People’s Budget would significantly reduce defense spending, and would repeal most of [...]

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Health Insurance Exchange Veto Only Puts Off the Inevitable

It’s deeply disappointing that the Governor decided to veto SB 38/370 (Senator Dede Feldman D-Albuquerque), which the Legislature passed to create a New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange. The exchange would have been a web-based marketplace where individuals and small employers could compare different private insurance policies before they purchase. This would promote competition and lower [...]

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Legislature Did OK by Medicaid, Given the Resources Available

The New Mexico Legislature is to be commended for sparing Medicaid serious cuts in the coming fiscal year (FY12). They did this despite the governor’s determination not to permit any revenue increases. Medicaid for kids—called New Mexikids—covers more New Mexico children than any other health insurance program. Without it, more than 300,000 children from low-income [...]

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