An inexpensive plan is offered that provides access to basic, outpatient, primary, and preventive health care for all uninsured citizens of the State of New Mexico. New Mexicare rewards hospitals and hospital-affiliated specialists for inpatient care that is now unreimbursed. The establishment of a Health Care Trust Fund would create a mechanism that could influence the allocation of scarce and expensive resources to areas of need. New Mexicare would be set up within the State Medicaid Division and would be predicated on a mandate that all employers must provide health insurance with reasonable cost sharing by higher paid employees. It would not have great fiscal impact on small businesses, require complicated new tax rules, or impact current state revenues. New Mexicare solves the problem of the uninsured in incremental fashion and does not create an enormous administrative or budgetary burden to the state. It may be a suitable model for other states that share New Mexico's demography. New Mexicare could easily and rapidly be dissolved in the event that the federal government finally acts and provides universal access with some type of national plan.
(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:1503-1509)