The only reason the legislature doesn’t pass the HSA is if they are swayed by the insurance lobbyists. CALL TO ACTION to write your legislator & testify Friday at Health & Human Services Committee hearing. Details. Time to call our legislators and the Governor. We want this in 2021.
Produced Water Hearing Today
The State of New Mexico, through its Oil Conservation Commission, is holding a special public meeting to vote on the new “Produced Water” proposed rule they created based on their previous draft and supposedly including feedback from the public during their previous August hearing.
Watch the Webex Meeting live HERE. Event number: 146 060 5154 | Event password: xmSmV7qEC73 Audio conference: +1-408-418-9388
Access Code: 146 060 5154
KSFR Conversation Saturday, September 5. 8:30 am – 9 am on KSFR 101.1 FM or Streaming Life From KSFR.org. Our conversation is with Peter Smith, Chair of Board of KSFR and former Republican Lt. Governor, State Senator, and US Representative from Vermont. From 2005-2007. Peter served as Assistant Director General for Education at UNESCO in Paris, France, leading all the education efforts for the United Nations. From 1995-2005. Peter served as founding president of California State University, Monterey Bay, beginning shortly after the campus’ opening on the site of the former Fort Ord military base in 1994. And from 1991-1995. Peter served as Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the George Washington University. At the GOP RNC, he joined Republicans for Biden. Enough was apparently enough. Find out how this Repubilcan felt that he could no longer support the President.
Health Security Act
One Step Closer to Law
You will recall that on June 23, Retake hosted a zoominar with Mary Feldblum, Director of Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign and three other health experts (see link at bottom of page to the recording). Mary has tenaciously been advocating for passage of the Health Security Act (HSA) since 1992, almost 30 long years ago. And at long last the pieces may be falling into place. First, the KNG has significantly amended the first draft report on the HSA that initially (and incorrectly) stated that the state might not be able to afford the HSA. They now point to a projected savings of between $1.6 – $2.7 billion over its first five years of operation. It also affirms that the HSA would result in universal healthcare coverage for New Mexicans.
Couple that with a significantly transformed NM State Senate and a state looking at huge deficits and the pieces appear to be falling into place. In January, NM and the US will very likely still be in the midst of a pandemic. It is inconceivable that the legislature and the governor, facing a health and a budget crisis, could turn their back on a bill that addresses both crises and has been independently studied on three occasions with each study pointing to both universal coverage and cost savings. It is too early to crack out the champagne, but it is not too early to sign up to testify on behalf of the HSA at Friday morning’s Legislative Health & Human Services Interim Committee where over 30 legislators will be hearing public comment.
Below we provide an announcement from Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign summarizing the newly released and corrected KNG report, along with a link to the report. You will also find a link to sign up to testify in the legislative hearing that starts at 9 am Friday. Finally, you will also find info on how to view KNG Health Consulting president Lane Koenig present on KNG’s Final Report at the Health & Human Services Committee at 3 pm on Friday. The Committee is meeting all day.
At the bottom of this post we have a set of speaking points to help you formulate your comment, should you wish to comment in favor of the HSA along with information about how to contact your legislator now and ask for their support for the HSA. Followed by an op-ed penned by Mary Feldblum, Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign. It is excellent.
Read On From Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign.
What the Final KNG Report Tells Us
KNG Health Consulting’s recent Final Report on its fiscal analysis of the Health Security Plan confirms what two prior New Mexico studies demonstrated: that the Health Security Plan guarantees universal health care coverage and controls rising health care costs.
As you may know, the state’s Legislative Finance Committee hired KNG to determine whether the Health Security Plan’s estimated revenue will pay for its costs, assuming a 2024 start date. Because there are so many variables and unknowns, KNG was asked to develop several possible options, or scenarios. In its final report, KNG created four scenarios.
Top 4 Report Takeaways
- 1. The Health Security Plan leads to universal coverage. KNG found that the Health Security Plan “would create near-universal coverage in the state,” reducing the percentage of uninsured to near zero. (KNG Final Report, p. 45)
- 2. The Health Security Plan costs less than the current system. The report states: “Over our five-year projection window, the HSP [Health Security Plan] is projected to reduce health care spending in the state” (KNG Final Report, p. 48), with savings over the five-year period estimated at $1.6 billion to $2.7 billion, depending on the scenario.
- 3. The Health Security Plan controls rising health care costs. KNG’s data shows that the growth rate for health care costs would be substantially less under all four Health Security scenarios than what is projected under the current system. (Even in countries with universal coverage, health care costs are expected to continue to increase each year.)
- 4. “In some scenarios, the HSP [Health Security Plan] may be funded through existing revenue, while in other cases there may be a funding shortfall.” (KNG Final Report, p. vii). In fact, the fourth scenario produces a funding surplus. It provides a clear pathway to a viable funding approach. In the other three scenarios, the shortfalls decrease each year. (New programs generally cost more at the beginning, so this is not surprising.)
Reasons why, according to KNG, the Health Security Plan reduces rising health care costs: Reduced administrative costs for the state when merging Medicaid, state employees, and the health insurance exchange programs into the Health Security PlanLower drug costs through bulk purchasingBilling and insurance administrative cost reductions for hospitals and providersStable revenues for hospitals through global budgets, enabling them to invest in better systems of care
Additional positive impacts noted by KNG but not included in the four scenario estimates:
- Lower workers compensation and automobile insurance premiums – a boon to businesses, employees, and consumers.
- More jobs due to direct health care spending (more medical providers) and indirect health care spending (suppliers of goods and services to providers)
- Over a 10-year period, the Health Security Plan, which focuses on prevention and patient-centered care, will result in a healthier population and increased productivity.
Clearly, the Health Security Plan is worth investing in! As KNG found, the Health Security Plan will cost less than the current system and ensure that everyone in New Mexico has health care coverage.
Let’s get the setup phase going as soon as possible—in 2021!
Presentation this Friday on KNG’s Final Report
At 3:00 PM on Friday, September 4, KNG Health Consulting president Lane Koenig will present on KNG’s Final Report in front of the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee. Our executive director, Mary Feldblum, will speak afterward. (Click on the agenda to see a larger version.)
Watch the webcast of the meeting by clicking on the video icon on the committee’s meeting page. If you want to offer public comment—and we encourage you to do so– please click the meeting page link and scroll to “EXTRA INFORMATION” and you will find a link that will allow you to register to offer public comment.
Speaking Points For Testifying OR
For Writing to Your Legislator
- If you have a personal story or a story about a family member or close friend who had a health crisis and either benefited from a good health plan or suffered for lack of one. Begin with that personal story. It will help underscore that healthcare coverage is an issue that impacts real people like you and that this issue is personal for you. Then begin with why you support the HSA.
- Three independent studies have all concluded that the Health Security Act will provide universal health care coverage while saving the state money;
- The most recent KNG study concluded that the state would save between $1.6 B – $2.7 B over the first five years when compared to projected costs using our current healthcare system.
- The state is in the midst of a horrendous budget crisis where any opportunity to reduce future costs should be considered very seriously.
- We are also in a pandemic with tens of thousands of New Mexicans losing their healthcare coverage when they lost their jobs.
- It will take 3 years to plan and launch the HSA, too late for THIS pandemic, but not too soon to prepare for future pandemics and other health emergencies.
When Contacting Your Legislator
Use the same set of speaking points, above, but if you can, take a few minutes to take the following steps to personalize your message to your legislators.
Close by addressing your legislator personally. Acknowledge how you have appreciated their support for some bill they may have introduced or that they supported. It is easy to review a list of bills sponsored by your legislator. Just follow these steps. The information you will find can help you with future communication with your legislator.
- Click this link and enter your address. You will land on a page where you enter your address. There is a pull-down menu above the box for your address where you can indicate either House Rep. or Senator. Identify both.
- Then click on their link and you will get contact info. Copy that info so you can write to them about the HSA.
- But before you do that, you will see a heading “Sponsored Legislation” with a pull down menu. Select the 2019 regular session and look at the list of bills your legislator sponsored. Find one you support and then use this info when you send a note to your legislators about the HSA.
- When you write to your legislator, tell them about your appreciation for their sponsoring the bill(s) you identified and, if you know this, also express appreciation for the legislator voting for other key bills. This tells the legislator you pay attention and you might also add that you vote.
- Close your written note or voice mail with a request that your legislator not just vote for the HSA but work within the Democratic Caucus to encourage her/his colleagues to also vote for the bill.
We Can Deliver Health Security to New Mexico. Let’s Do This!
To read Mary Feldblum’s op-ed, click to download below.
Paul & Roxanne
Health Security Act: Rebuttal of First KNG Fiscal Analysis
The recording for this zoom failed to record the first 3-4 minutes of introductions of the panelists, but the names and titles are offered below and the flow of the discussion of issues was quite clear. Apparently, the panelists were 100% correct about the failings of the first KNG report, as the final draft mirrors there concerns and concludes with a very favorable prognosis, as described above.
Our July 7 Zoominar are Zoom included Dr. Mary Feldblum, Executive Director of Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign, an organization she formed in 1992. Joining her on the panel will be Tyler Taylor, a Los Alamos physician and member of the Campaign’s Executive Committee, and Shelley Mann-Lev, a Board Member for the NM Public Health Association and chair of its policy committee. The panel outlined what the HSA is, how it would benefit New Mexicans, how it would be implemented, governed and operate. Finally, the panel described the botched recent report produced by HGN Health Consulting that was supposed to describe how the HSA would benefit New Mexico. You also find out how you can support the passage of the HSA.
Categories: Healthcare & Coverage