Tom Garrity

Posts Tagged ‘Affordable Care Act’

The Garrity Perception Survey 2018: Healthcare

In Reputation on November 29, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.33.13 PMFrom 2011-2017, perceptions of healthcare in New Mexico have been impacted at a variety of levels.

Consider these milestones at the Federal and State level.

2010 inaugurated the Affordable Care Act (or ACA), also known as Obamacare.

In 2013, the New Mexico Human Services Department halted funding to 15 behavioral health providers in response to allegations of Medicaid fraud this resulted in coverage interruptions for 30,000 of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

Also in 2013, the New Mexico Healthcare Exchange was created by state law to help residents get affordable health care coverage.

In 2014 the Veterans Health Administration was embroiled in a scandal where allegations of negligence were reported in the treatment of United States military veterans.

As if 2013 didn’t have enough activity, New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez expanded healthcare coverage, through the ACA, to include recipients of Medicaid. The expansion provided coverage for residents with household incomes up to 138 percent of the Federal poverty level.

And according to US Census data, the uninsured rate in New Mexico fell from 18.6 percent in 2013 to 9.2 percent in 2016 — a drop of more than 50 percent, versus the national average drop of a little more than 40 percent.

A 2015 report issued by the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center shows that New Mexico only has “nineteen hundred” primary care physicians. When compared to the State’s population, at the time, that equaled one primary care physician for every “thousand ninety-nine” New Mexicans in the state.

Politically, in 2016, a unique political showdown developed between the legislature, Attorney General, State Auditor and Office of the Superintendent of Insurance.  At the center of the issue, the release of an audit claiming the Insurance Superintendent failed to collect nearly $200 million in taxes from insurance companies.

The seven-year period also included new hospital construction and improvements as well as the creation of and merger of various insurance and medical groups.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.33.34 PMDespite the changes, New Mexico residents are generally consistent in how they feel about the medical system.  Favorability, hovers just below the 50 percent mark with the most fluctuation occurring in 2013 when it dropped from 49 percent to 46 percent.  Over the past seven years, the medical system has averaged 47 percent favorability among New Mexico residents.

Geographically, residents in the Albuquerque area are the most consistent and generally have the highest levels of trust and favorability regarding doctors and the medical system. Residents in the Northwest have the largest swings in favorability of the medical system with a low of 45 percent in 2015 and high of 75 percent in 2016.  Trust of doctors also saw some extreme swings in North Central New Mexico with a 39 percent favorability in 2014 followed by 70 percent favorability in 2015.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.33.57 PMInterestingly, the oldest and youngest residents have the highest level of trust in physicians. The youngest (18-34 years of age), typically the lightest users of insurance and healthcare, have an average 66 percent trust of physicians compared to residents over the age of 65 years, the most frequent users of insurance and health care, who have a 69 percent average of trust in doctors.

More information and analysis of this information is available online at http://www.garrityperceptionsurvey.com.

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Navigating the Conservative Divide

In Messaging, Uncategorized on March 27, 2017 at 4:39 pm

Foothills

The congressional stalemate over repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the inauguration of the American Health Care Act should not have come as a surprise if perspectives of New Mexico conservatives were taken into consideration.

The increasing split among traditional “republican” institutions like the oil and gas industry or the church and religious organizations are testament to the changing tide of conservatives, akin to Moses’ parting of the Red Sea.

This split, identified in the 2016 Garrity Perception Survey, served not only as a precursor of the national presidential election but also as a guide for what is playing out during the first 100 days of the Trump administration.

While I touched on some of these splits in this May 2016 blog post “A Political Divide as Scenic as the Taos Gorge” , it is important to revisit some of the key items that have surfaced and will surface in some form or fashion.

Medical System – Conservatives are more favorable than those who identify themselves as “somewhat conservative” (SW/C).  Interestingly, according to this quantitative study, liberals and conservatives are aligned in one group just as moderates and somewhat conservatives are aligned.  Insight: National healthcare policy should play to the middle if politicians want to win popular opinion.

Solar/Wind – Conservatives are not favorable toward renewable energy; only 37 percent of residents are favorable toward the industry.  This is in stark contrast to those who identify themselves as SW/C, 55 percent of whom are favorable toward the solar and wind industry. That 18 point divide is significant.  Also, the SW/C and moderates are more aligned than those right of center. Insight: The Trump Administration’s unraveling of the Obama Administration’s Clean Energy Plan should focus on the political middle ground of those favorable toward the solar and wind industry if there is desire of winning public approval.

Church/Religious Institutions – The 19 percentage point split between conservatives (82 percent) and SW/C (63 percent) should be a red flare for how some social issues and belief systems are perceived by New Mexico residents.  Recently, the Catholic Church, under its new papal leadership, has been reaching more towards the middle ground on some hot button language; even if it has just been in its message and tone.  In contrast, some other belief groups have been pushing more to the fringe.  Insight: Public opinion over current and future Republican Supreme Court Nominees, and their ability to successfully navigate the confirmation process, will need to find a way to mimic the tone being exhibited by the Catholic Church when trying to reach the middle ground.

These are interesting times, indeed.  While research provides only a snapshot in time, the glimpse can help elected and appointed officials navigate difficult terrain.