Martinez likes parts of health-care law

Gov. Susana Martinez

Gov. Susana Martinez

Gov. Susana Martinez complained about the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act but told reporters other provisions in the law are important for ‘taking care of that very needy population.’ She said she wants to keep the law in its entirety – or at least parts of it.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s upholding of almost all of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act on Thursday, most reaction in New Mexico and elsewhere was predictably divided along partisan lines.

Democrats were overjoyed. Most Republicans, not so much, and they used the ruling to make a push for the election of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney as the last opportunity to overturn the law.

Then reporters in Santa Fe asked Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican and Romney supporter, what she thought of the ruling. Martinez gave a nuanced and mixed response.

Though she doesn’t support the individual mandate in the law that requires people to buy insurance or pay a fine, Martinez said she supports a provision that allows children to stay on parents’ insurance plans until they’re 26. She also appeared to endorse a provision that prohibits insurance carriers from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions.


Full statement and video

Here’s what Martinez said when asked if she agreed with Romney that the law should be repealed:

“You know, what I think is important is that we provide a system that is available to those that are most in need, making sure that we are not forcing families to buy something that they can’t afford. But, by the same token, I think there are parts of it, for example, you know being allowed to have your child, until they are 26, insure them. They are going to college, etc., I think that’s a good thing. I think the pre-existing conditions, you know, we want to make sure that we’re taking care of people. So, I want to make sure that, is it in its entirety, or are there parts of it that we can keep, to make sure that we’re taking care of that very needy population.”

Then Martinez was asked if the law is good for New Mexico, and she said this:

“I don’t think raising taxes in New Mexico when we’re struggling economically and trying to turn the corner, and raising taxes on middle-class families, is a good thing to do right now. I think we need to not force people to buy something, and if you don’t, we’re going to raise your taxes on you – and if they can’t afford it, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”

Capitol Report New Mexico’s Rob Nikolewski posted video of Martinez’s response. You can watch it here:

Martinez’s response is important because the Supreme Court ruled that the law could not force states to grow Medicaid by threatening to withhold federal funding. As ProPublica reported Thursday, one question now is whether states will decide to participate in the law’s massive expansion of Medicaid.

A Martinez spokesman was quoted today by the Albuquerque Journal as saying the governor hasn’t decided whether to support such an expansion.

Obama campaign touts Martinez’s stance

In the meantime, the Obama campaign was quick to tout Martinez’s response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in a news release:

“Breaking with Mitt Romney, New Mexico Governor and Romney supporter Susana Martinez today touted the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and declined to endorse the repeal of the law. Specifically, Governor Martinez highlighted how the law will ban insurance companies from discriminating against Americans with preexisting conditions and allows young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until the age of 26, calling them ‘a good thing.’ It’s a particularly good thing for the 860,000 New Mexicans with pre-existing conditions and the 21,000 New Mexico young adults who would otherwise be uninsured but today have coverage on their family insurance.”

Without a statement from Martinez in support of a full repeal, the Romney campaign instead trotted out her economic development secretary, Jon Barela, who said this in a release:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision to uphold President Obama’s abominable health-care law means a future of rising taxes and stagnating economic growth for the state of New Mexico. It means more burdensome regulations and mandates will infringe on the ability of New Mexico businesses to grow and create jobs.”

Martinez’s own state GOP also joined the elect-Romney-and-repeal-ObamaCare train with two e-mails about the “ObamaCare emergency.”

“We need to send Mitt Romney to the White House this November,” state GOP Chairman Monty Newman said in a news release. “The stakes for our families and our future could not be higher.”

Martinez also broke with Romney on immigration

Martinez endorsed Romney earlier this month, but this is the second time she’s disagreed with him on a key policy issue. She was quoted in Newsweek in May criticizing his stance on immigration. From Andrew Romano’s article:

“As we sit down at a local Starbucks, I ask about immigration. It’s a topic she has been reluctant to discuss since winning the Republican primary in 2010, so what comes next is surprising: a battle plan that contradicts nearly everything the GOP has been doing and saying since 2007, Romney’s ‘self-deportation’ strategy included. ‘Self-deport? What the heck does that mean?’ Martinez snaps. ‘I have no doubt Hispanics have been alienated during this campaign. But now there’s an opportunity for Gov. Romney to have a sincere conversation about what we can do and why.’”

23 thoughts on “Martinez likes parts of health-care law

  1.  I would trade the certainty of a 10% tax increase for the totally uncertain, huge, expensive, and government expansive ObamaCare any day.
    It’s actually refreshing to me to read that Dr. J is in favor of single-payer healthcare for America. Best pre-Independence Day present ever!

    FWIW Healthcare in Canada is provincially-controlled; residents of a province or territory get heavily-subsidized public healthcare in that particular province or territory. Getting medical treatments out of your home province is subsidized by your home province but sometimes the paperwork takes so long that it’s not worth it for anything short of catastrophes. There are private insurance options available if you want faster or more specialized care, and things like dental and vision are not covered by provincial public healthcare.
    Yes, some Canadians go to the States for medical treatments. Some Las Crucens go to Juarez for medical treatments. Just as I would not use the latter as evidence that Ciudad Juarez has a better healthcare system than Las Cruces, I would not use the former as evidence that Canada’s healthcare system is worse than the US’s.

    FWIW, addendum: people everyday in America are given medically-necessary operations that are covered by the US taxpayers. A hundred and fifty thousand dollar post-heart attack quadruple bypass costs every American household about a tenth of a penny. That has never seemed like that much of a cost to me.

  2. Strawman alert!!
    me: “However, if it’s indeed true that you have an income of over $250,000 a year, I do believe that says something about where your self-interest lies in discussions of taxes and health care and a lot of other things”
    Read that again. I’m saying that how rich you are says something (says something) about where your self-interest lies in discussions of taxes and health care and a lot of other things.
    Here’s how J interprets my statement:
    if the existence of money, greater or lesser, separates us so hopelessly as a people, culture, and society that no common ground and common public interest can exist between us, we are lost.
    How did we get from ‘your wealth affects where your self-interest lies’ to  ‘we have no common ground and no common public interest’??
    I hate talking to people who read what they think into my words rather than reading what I say. It’s like trying to have a dialog with an automated telephone tree or voice response system – there’s this small number of pre-programmed responses and anything I say must fit into one of those pre-existing pigeon holes or it’s simply not heard. Can I conclude that J has failed the Turing test? I mean, can anyone seriously deny that the interests of the wealthy are not precisely aligned with the interests of the poor? (1)
    (1) this lack of congruity between the interests of rich and poor has affected what has happened in the past. e.g. France 1867. Russi 1917. US 1776.

  3. “However, if it’s indeed true that you have an income of over $250,000 a year, I do believe that says something about where your self-interest lies in discussions of taxes and health care and a lot of other things”  “Sigh”  In fact, if the existence of money, greater or lesser, separates us so hopelessly as a people, culture, and society that no common ground and common public interest can exist between us, we are lost.  I do hope you are not correct, but I fear you may be.

  4. Epistemology, J, epistemology. I was going through an exercise in discovering truth.
    so now I have gone from being an uneducated idiot, faking degrees, to being “seriously rich”
    You haven’t gone from anything to anything else, as far as I know. You’re still an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, garnished with a sprig of parsley. (1)
    One of the most useful questions for discovering truth is: if that (whatever) is true, what else must be true? That’s the bit of the scientific method used when generating testable hypotheses from theories. You ask, for example, ‘if gravity deforms space, what will happen to the path of a photon if it passes close to the sun?’ And then you watch the light from stars as the stars pass behind the Sun (apparently). In other words, you test the believability of one claim by looking at the believability of a necessarily implied claim.
    This is classic Conan Doyle: if the dog didn’t bark in the night, what else must be true?
    So I asked the question ‘if J is telling the truth about paying more than 10 times as much in taxes as he pays for health insurance, how much income must he have?”
    Now I have no idea whether you’ve actually done graduate work in economics, or published articles on arctic ice cores, or served on audit committees of BODs of energy companies, or any of the other things you’ve said about yourself are true or not.
    However, if it’s indeed true that you have an income of over $250,000 a year, I do believe that says something about where your self-interest lies in discussions of taxes and health care and a lot of other things. It certainly says that your own pecuniary self-interest if far, far removed from the interests of most New Mexicans (2). So to the extent that what you support is particularly good for you, it’s probably not particularly good for most New Mexicans.
    Of course, the other alternative – that your claims about yourself are fabrications – is still a possibility. That’s the nature of truth on the internet: it’s not always clear who is a dog (3)
    (1) credit for that line goes to a New Yorker cartoon from some years back. Or so I thought until I did the search. It appears that my memory improved the caption. Original here:
    (2) your income would be approximately six times the median NM family income, by the most recent figures I could find:

  5. Well, Dr. J, uneducated rich idiots are hardly fantasies, anymore than uneducated poor idiots or educated rich and poor (though it is worth noting that the very existence of the middle class seems to be becoming something of a fantasy).  Of course, none of this addresses the fact that, when confronted with disagreement, you simply presume that the person disagreeing with you holds whatever you have decided to be the perfect opposite of your viewpoint, despite what the person in question actually writes.  You seem remarkably incapable of grasping the very idea of nuance, and yet you spend a remarkable amount of time debating others over some of the most necessarily nuanced topics on Earth.
    As Mr. Schneider pointed out, when it was pointed out that nothing you said about the Canadian system was the least bit accurate, your response was to instead insist that those disagreeing with you had actually made glowing recommendations of the Canadian healthcare system, when in fact all we’d done is criticize the American system… at which point you linked to an article that I fervently hope – like many of the links you post – you had not actually read, since it was doing almost exactly the same thing; simply because someone was criticizing the Canadian system, you took it as a defense of the American one.  You seem to have missed the line – right at the beginning – in which the CMA president states, The funny thing about the US/Canadian debate is that we’re both lousy… Here’s two countries that don’t stand up well on the international scene throwing tomatoes at each other across the 49th parallel, and for what?”
    Interesting; that seems to mirror the position that everyone having an adult debate had already taken…

  6. Interesting, so now I have gone from being an uneducated idiot, faking degrees, to being “seriously rich”.  Of course in America you can be an uneducated idiot who can be seriously rich I suppose, in some people’s fantasies.

  7. Strawman alert! (definition:
    Not everyone, including the President of the Canadian Medical Association, agrees with your glowing review of their system:
    Nobody gave the Canadian system a “glowing review”.
    EW pointed out that for most Canadians it was a lot cheaper than our system is for most Americans.
    Jimspiri pointed out that the US system wastes a lot of money on ERs (implicitly an unfavorable comparison with the Canadian system).
    Dr.J said ” Canadians (who come across the border by the thousands to get operations and treatments in the US they would have to wait months or years for, or never get, in Canada)” 
    IP pointed out that (a) very few Canadians come to the US for medical treatment, and of those that do, often it’s for reasons unrelated to the Canadians’ single payer system; and (b) few Canadians have to wait as long for treatment as many Americans wait.
    Now Dr. J points out that the Canadian system isn’t perfect. Well, of course it isn’t. Nobody claimed it was perfect. Nothing in this life is perfect, except me and thee. That hardly refutes the fact that Dr.J’s original point was, well, wrong on the facts; and that the Canadian system produces (generally speaking) better health care for far less money than ours does.
    Another point:
    Dr.J said “Well EW-aif, 10% of my taxes is greater, [than what I pay for premiums & deductible & co-pays]”
    Let’s try to figure out how much income Dr. J has. The first question is: how much are his premiums etc?
    Guessing that he is a 63 year old male (1), going to the NMMIP web site tells us that 125% of the average premium in NM for a 63 year old male, $1k deductible, is $695 a month (2). That’s $8,340 a year, correct for the 125% and you get $6672, add the deductible, and you get about $7,700 a year for health care for Dr. J.
    If his taxes are such that $7,700 a year is less than 10% of his taxes, then he must be paying more than $77,000 in taxes a year. Now we’ll be generous and assume that this includes State, Federal income taxes, gross receipts taxes, etc.  Let’s take another guess, and say that $50K is federal income tax, and the rest is all those other taxes. I suspect that’ll understate his income, but I think it’s in the ballpark.
    Looking at the Federal tax rate table (3)  and guessing that he’s married filing jointly, that puts his taxable income at about $220,000 a year. Now taxable income is a lot lower than actual income, especially at that level, because he’s going to have a lot of deductions and untaxed income (e.g. municipal bonds) and capital gains, so let’s guess his actual income at a minimum of $250,000 a year.
    He’s is seriously rich.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.
    (1) im guessing based on things he’s said, such as his comment that his father hated FRD. Well, my father was born in 1918, so he was about 14 when FDR was elected – old enough to pay mebbe a little attention, but not that much. So I’m guessing Dr.J is a bit older than me – but obviously too young for Medicare, or else he wouldn’t be able to make any claim about what he pays for medical insurance, because taxpayers are funding his medical insurance.
    (2) pdf available here:

  8. Once again IP, you are using your political partisan bias to influence what you read and hear about the Canadian health care system.  Not everyone, including the President of the Canadian Medical Association, agrees with your glowing review of their system:

  9. WRT “operations and treatments in the US they would have to wait months or years for…”  Thanks for the reality check, IP.  DJ actually only needs to remember that Dick Cheney had to wait 20 months to get a heart transplant…

  10. “…who come across the border by the thousands to get operations and treatments in the US they would have to wait months or years for, or never get, in Canada…”

    I’ve always loved this particular conservative lie.  The phrase “by the thousands” sounds far less impressive when one considers that a) this applies to the number of Canadians who make such a pilgrimage at any point in their entire life; b) the population of Canada being over 34 million, this comes out to bare 0.5% of all Canadians; c) their care on US soil is still paid for by the Canadian healthcare system; d) barely over 0.1% of all Canadians actually come here specifically for a medical procedure, and it’s usually because – Canada being across the border – a particular specialist in Detroit happens to be physically closer than a specialist in Toronto (the remainder are physically here already at the time of their treatment).

    Incidentally, the statement that they “would have to wait months or years for, or never get,” is equally misleading, since wait times in Canada for non-elective procedure are shorter than those in the US for-profit system, and the percentage of Americans who claim to “never get” necessary procedures is higher than the percentage of Canadians who make the same claim.

    It’s also worth noting that, while I have these numbers readily-available to me, “Dr.” J, had he any research experience at all, could have discovered the falsehoods of his own statements in under ten seconds.  To help you, here is but one study out of over half-a-dozen I found in that amount of time:

  11. Well EW-aif, 10% of my taxes is greater, but regardless, if EVERYONE paid 10% higher taxes, and it bought all that wonderful free health care for everything the Canadians (who come across the border by the thousands to get operations and treatments in the US they would have to wait months or years for, or never get, in Canada) enjoy, then I would be OK with that.  Is there a plan by the Democrats for that?  I guess I missed it.  I would trade the certainty of a 10% tax increase for the totally uncertain, huge, expensive, and government expansive ObamaCare any day.

  12. EW-aif….Here is a math problem for you….40,000,000 uninsured currently all using the emergency room for their basic health care….that is an enormous expenditure.  Now, if everyone of those uninsured all paid $100 per month for public option, that would generate $48-BILLION dollars per year to run the public option.  That is much, much more efficient than using the emergency room.  Canada, Australia, UK, New Zealand and a whole host of other allies with us in every war the past two centuries, all know this plan.  The gigantic pharmacutical industry along with the out of control medical lobby in America also know when this does take place, their gravy train of free money is out the window.  It is a no brainer.  It’s just that the American public has been propagandized to such an extent that they have no brain left to think properly. 

  13.  Affordable Care Act
    1. It closes the Donut Hole for Seniors. Health Care is covered as Insurance is intended.
    2. Insurance Companies will pay rebates to their insured customers and CEO Bonuses and advertising are limited as a percentage of the company profits.
    3. Pre-exisiting conditions are covered and are no longer an excuse for insurance companies to drop your coverage.
    4. Important preventive coverage such as mammograms and colonoscopies are covered 100%
    5. Life time limits are no longer a part of any health insurance policy. Your health insurance covers your health.
    6. Scholarships and loan forgiveness are included to encourage primary care physicians to go into under-served markets.
    7. Small businesses with lower wage employees receive tax incentives to provide coverage.

  14. The case for single payer:  In two 2008 articles about the Canadian system, author Sara Robinson states that the basic health care that the government pays for raises the average Canadian citizen’s taxes by around 10%.  So here’s a simple math exercise:  Calculate 10% of your taxes.  Then add up a year’s worth of premiums on your policies (or policy) and add in the co-pays and deductibles and “doughnut hole” costs, etc.  Which number is bigger?  (These two articles are reproduced on my web site.  Click on my display ID to see it.)

  15. Once again Gov. Susana Martinez is on top of her game.  She rightly finds good things with the new health care law.  This is the side of our Governor that impresses me.  She is her own person and finds common ground with those of us who are “independents”.  There are many of us out here who think conservatively and yet know that a healthy socieity is a strong society.  The current health care law that the Supreme Court held up, is a start.  It is not a finished product.  There are many of us who are conservatives and yet support a public option.  Gov. Martinez is one smart gal and she knows that good health care for her constituents is a good thing for her state.  Once again Gov. Martinez leads the way. 

  16. It is refreshing to see our Guv speaking her mind and opinions without too many partisan talking points.  There are many good things about ObamaCare, but not for everyone, somebody has to pay the higher bills, and it continues to polarize Americans as haves and have nots.  The biggest problem with ObamaCare is how much it will cost most of us, how it again takes from the rich and gives to the poor, and the lies the liberals told about how it would reduce medical costs.  The costs will continue to go up, the more successful people will end up paying for it, and thus it is like any big government welfare give-a-way program.  If they had just been honest and told us that most of us will see much higher premiums, much less personal choices for insurance coverage, and we should all feel good since we are contributing to the poor, fine.  As it is, there are actually people who think their health care costs and insurance premiums will go down.  When everybody finds out the truth about ObamaCare (as Pelosi so well stated), there will be widespread public pressure to change much of it.  In the meantime, to not have health insurance, pay the tax (which now may be deductible as a tax), and go on with your life will be much cheaper than buying ObamaCare era health insurance, that part is certain.

  17. Governor Romney’s stand on Obamacare  is a joke and hypocritical. In 2008 Mr. Romney stated “No, no, I like mandates. The mandates work.” Mr. Romney’s  cynical politics are  a curse upon America and the Republican Party. Who knows where this “moral menial” stands on any issue.

  18. I agree with Frustratedvoter. I thought Susanna gave a well reasoned response to the questions. I am proud of her.  On previous occassions Susanna has sounded too “prepped” or “rehearsed”. On this important occassion, she gave her own opinion which was well stated, and I beleive it truly was “HER” opinion as Governor. Good Job Susanna.!  

  19. I am impressed that Governor Martinez has demonstrated her ability to think independently. Now let’s see her honor independent thinking in her own Republican legislators– and us Democrats, of course. 

  20. “Identification and Proof of (Health) Insurance, please.”
    Most people unemployed do not have dental insurance, and it is common to skip a month or two of auto insurance when you simply do not have the money. Now the State is going to MANDATE that EVERY individual carries health insurance or pay a penalty?! With auto insurance, the argument is that driving is a privilege, not a right. Does that mean that your LIFE is now a privilege, not a right? Whatever happened to the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Just how close are we to the Mark of the Beast?

    How PPPs Really Work
    The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

  21. It’s refreshing to see a reasoned and measured position and response.  From most right or left wing talking heads all we ever seem to get are the same party-issued talking points I’ve grown so sick of.  They can make paying attention pointless, much less boring.