On March 23, 2010, then President Barack Obama, signed into law the Affordable Care Act. This program completely reshaped the personal health insurance market. The Affordable Care Act moved this country even further away from a free market solution for our health insurance needs. While the objective of this act was noble the attempt to reduce the number of uninsured Americans, the idea that the federal government could force citizens to purchase anything is completely unconstitutional, and I believe history will show the Supreme Court’s decision as improper. While this act decreased the number of uninsured Americans, it did so at an unsustainable cost, both to the taxpayer and those who purchase their insurance in the individual market. In 2016, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the 10 year costs to taxpayers for the ACA would be $1.34 trillion. This was an increase of $134 billion from their 2015 projection. It is likely with each passing year the 10 year cost will increase, because government programs are nearly always the least efficient and most expensive solution. And what has been the cost to those who have purchased the insurance on the individual market?Read more
Reforming Education in New Mexico
By nearly every standard and metric the state of New Mexico is one of the lowest performing states in education. If a student fails to obtain at least a high school diploma the probability of living a life above the poverty level is greatly reduced.
- In 2015, NM had the lowest graduation rate in the nation at 69%
- Only 26.9% of 4th graders and 20.6% of 8th graders are proficient in math
- Only 22.9% of 4th graders and 20.1% of 8th graders are proficient in reading
- Education Week ranked NM last in the nation for chance of success, 50th of 51 for K-12 achievement, and 49th overall across all its education standards.
- Of the 100 largest school districts in the country APS ranks 99th in their 2015 average cohort graduation rate at 62%.
New Mexico has several challenges to overcome:
- We have a very high poverty rate
- Overall, 20% of our population lives below the poverty line
- 30% of children live in poverty. This is the highest rate in the nation
- 27% of students are English language learners
- A large rural population
- Only about 25% of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher
All of these are challenges that the State must confront. We can’t continue to do the same things over and over again and expect a different outcome. We need to reinvent public education or we will continue to have multi-generational poverty, high unemployment, large welfare needs, and budget crises every time there is a small dip in energy markets.Read more