Good Morning New Mexico Activists:
I hope all is well with you on this beautiful September day. We have a couple of Interim Committee meetings to tell you about, in addition to a few reminders about upcoming events.
Interim Committee Meetings
1. The Legislative Health & Human Services Committee will meet Sept. 14-16 at the University of NM-Gallup in the Student Services & Technology Ctr., Room 200, 705 Gurley Ave., Gallup. On Sept. 15 at 11:30 a.m. they will discuss the Health Security Plan Design. You’ll find the full agenda with several other topics at this link. If you live in or near Gallup you can attend the meeting in person. Or you can watch via Webcast at this link.
There is a single, 15-minute Public Comment period scheduled on Friday, Sept. 16, and there’s no Zoom access, so we’re recommending that you email written comments in advance of the meeting to express your support of the Health Security Plan to committee secretary Andrea Lazarow at Andrea.Lazarow@nmlegis.gov.
Here are suggestions for your written comment:
The best approach is to tell a personal story about your experience with the healthcare system or a story of someone close to you. We suggest connecting your written comments to one of the following:
- Prescription drug affordability — If you or someone close to you is subject to high prices for prescription drug prices, describe the impact those costs are having and the kinds of choices or compromises you have to make.
- An Inter-Operational IT System, which would allow health centers to access your medical records if you seek healthcare there. This is where Paul will focus, relating to his July 2021 stroke, how important it could be if he were rushed to a hospital in ABQ, Las Cruces, or anywhere not served by Christus St. Vincent, for them to know about the stroke and how it was and is being treated. If you or someone close to you has a story about a pre-existing injury or condition, focus on that.
- Accessibility of Services — If you or someone close to you had to wait for weeks or months to see a doctor recently, lay out how that impacts you or could impact you.
- Affordability — If you or someone close to you has trouble affording needed care, or co-pays and deductibles cause you to resist seeing a doctor, talk about that and how this could cause you to not identify or to delay treating a serious condition.
The point is to describe a personal situation and then write about how the Health Security Plan would improve access to and affordability of healthcare, especially given that in our national healthcare system we pay double the cost of other developed countries! A 2014 study by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund found that New Mexico ranks last in the nation for healthcare affordability and access and, according to that report, employers and families are increasingly shifting to high-deductible insurance plans and New Mexicans are paying more and more out of pocket for their healthcare. Why would we not want to explore how to improve our healthcare system?
For a deeper look at the status of Health Security in our state, read our Sept. 6 blog post here.
2. The Rural Economic Opportunities Task Force will meet Sept. 19-20 at Fort Bayard Theater, 26 Calle El Centro, just north of Santa Clara, NM, which is about 10 miles east of Silver City. The agenda includes discussions on the Challenges and Opportunities of Healthcare Infrastructure in Rural NM; the Importance of Logging for Forest Health and Rural Economic Opportunity; Geothermal Energy Development; and several other topics. You’ll find the full agenda at this link.
There is a 30-minute Public Comment period scheduled on Tues., Sept. 20 at noon, but there doesn’t appear to be Zoom access. If you live in or near Silver City, you may want to appear in person. Or you may email written comments in advance of the meeting on any of the agenda items to Mark Edwards at Mark.Edwards@nmlegis.gov. You can watch the meeting via Webcast at this link.
Meet and Greet with Augustine Montoya Tonight in Santa Fe!
This is your last chance to join Paul and I tonight at the home of our good friends Mariel Nanasi and Jeff Haas to meet and greet “Augie” Montoya, candidate for NM House District 22. Co-hosts include NM State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard, Senators Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Liz Stefanics, Representatives Matthew McQueen and Andrea Romero, and House District 47 candidate Reena Szczepanski. Augustine is a young, enthusiastic candidate with solid progressive values who is running against the NRA- and MAGA-aligned Stefani Lord (R). As a result of redistricting, he has a real shot at winning if he can raise the funds to mount a sustained campaign. RSVP by email by 2 p.m. today to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the address. Learn more about him in our Aug. 31 blog at this link. Donate directly to Montoya’s campaign at this link. You can watch Paul’s interview with “Augie” at this link. We hope to see you tonight!
Other Upcoming Events
For our upcoming Zoominar on Health Security, Sept. 13, 6-7:30 pm, click here to register.
For our upcoming Zoominar on Public Banking, Sept. 21, 6-7:30 pm, click here to register.
Learn more about these events at our Actions & Events page at this link.
As summer winds down, we hope you’re ready to gear up your activism. We’ve accomplished so much together in the last few years but there is much left to do. We have to keep moving toward social, economic, and environmental justice in our state. Thanks for being part of this with us!
In Hope & Solidarity,
Roxanne and Paul