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Political chatter won't mesh with healthcare reality

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By Sherry Robinson

Martin Hickey has certainly seen all sides of healthcare, first as a young doctor on the Navajo Reservation and the Veteran’s Administration in Albuquerque, next as medical faculty at University of New Mexico, and then as chief executive officer of Lovelace Health Systems and other healthcare organizations. He’s also headed several group practices. Now he’s CEO of New Mexico Health Connections and a member of New Mexico’s health insurance exchange board.
On the subject of healthcare reform, Hickey didn’t mince words recently when speaking to fellow execs at Economic Forum, a business group.
Starting with criticism that Obamacare will be a train wreck, Hickey said bluntly that the system we have now is a train wreck, “and if we don’t do anything, it will only get worse.”
In case anybody was inclined to disagree, he painted them a picture.
The industry, he said, has operated in the dark, without accountability or competition, and has now been forced into the light. This observation restates my complaint of a few months ago that a veterinarian can give you an estimate of what your dog’s procedure will cost, but you can’t expect the same of your doctor.
“We have provided you the best healthcare that someone else pays for,” he said.


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