letters to the editor; commentary
New Mexicans can be proud of their contribution in electing leaders that are working to ensure a healthier and more prosperous future for our children and grandchildren. I am grateful to President Biden for taking actions to protect our nation, without any loss of jobs. However, his actions to date have not yet stopped any ongoing drilling in New Mexico. The oil and gas industry is continuing its water-consuming drilling and fracking in New Mexico, while contaminating our precious ground waters and rivers with carcinogenic radioactive discharge.
That is why I am so proud of our New Mexican elected leaders who are working right now on policies and laws that will create green jobs, that clean our air and conserve the safety of our irrigation and drinking waters, and in turn, improve the health of New Mexicans.
Our climate crisis has been ignored for too long, and New Mexicans know it’s only getting worse, with longer and deeper droughts that threaten our land and our agriculture and our jobs. It’s time for all of us to do better, and we can. We must support our New Mexican elected leaders and the Public Regulation Commission in all their efforts to,
1) enact moratoriums on new drilling and fracking, while the devastating effects on our air and water are studied, and,
2) institute and incentivize energy efficient building standards that decrease the 40% energy consumption that our buildings currently make to climate crisis, and that will significantly lower our utility bills, and,
3) stop the release of all methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by oil and gas operations.
All of these contribute significantly to our climate crisis, and dangerously contaminate the water we drink, our irrigated fruits and vegetables, and the air we breathe.
By Tyler Taylor, MD
NM Health Professions Support Health Security Bill
Nine statewide health professions’ organizations sent a letter to legislators and the governor in support of the 2021 Health Security Bill. As a board member of the Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign, I am pleased to share that letter with Corrales Comment readers.
Dear New Mexico Legislators,
Our nine organizations represent almost every arm of the state’s healthcare system. We treat those with heart disease, and we start IVs. We help people with debilitating pain find relief, as well as those with mental health conditions. We fill prescriptions, do health screenings, and deliver babies. In clinics, offices, pharmacies, ERs and hospitals across New Mexico, we are there. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to be there for our fellow New Mexicans.
Your political philosophies, as well as personal or family experiences, likely shape your conclusions about how to fix the widespread problems in American healthcare. Those factors hold true for us, too. But unlike most of you, every week we see up close the harm done from being uninsured, the tough dilemmas from being under-insured, the worry caused by provider shortages, and the distress about unaffordable medications.
Too often it seems that we are wasting considerable time, money and morale as we navigate, for our patients, irrational obstacles to care. Those come from insurance company authorizations, differing drug formularies, computer entry requirements, too many middlemen, byzantine coding systems, rejections of legitimate charges, distorted incentives and more.
All this means that we have, collectively, a deep understanding of what is broken and wasteful in today’s health system. Many of us have watched for decades as one hot new reform after another has been tried, with most leading to more complexities, less focus on the patients we serve, and mind-boggling costs. Given this background, the organizations we represent believe that the proposed Health Security approach has multiple major advantages over today’s complicated system.
Taking this path would ensure near universal health coverage in our state, with most New Mexicans covered by the comprehensive Health Security Plan itself. That would allow providers to focus much more on each patient’s needs, and less on their insurance plan. Drawing clinicians to the state would likely get much easier.
We also appreciate that the Health Security Plan eliminates networks for its members, but does not disrupt how care is actually delivered today via private and public practitioners and facilities. In addition, three independent analyses have now shown that Health Security would save New Mexicans hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
Importantly, the 2020 study explicitly assumes stable provider incomes and fair future increases. For these reasons and more, we support the passage of the Health Security bill this winter. We are pleading with you: please listen to those of us in the trenches and take this critical step now, so that we clinicians can, in just a few years, be less burdened while giving high quality care to all New Mexicans at a lower cost.
Signed by the following: NM Public Health Association; Shelley Mann-Lev, president; NM Pediatric Society, Alexandra Cvijanovich, president; NM Nurse Practitioner Council, Melissa Reitz, president; NM Society for Acupuncture and Asian Medicine, Yvonne Wylie Walston, president; Psychiatric Medical Association of NM, Pamela Arenella, president; NM Pharmacists Association, Dale Tinker, executive director; The Committee of Interns and Residents, UNM, Mina Sardashti, president and SEIU’s regional vice-president for NM; NM Podiatric Medical Association, Janet Simon, president; NM Counselors Association, Bryan Moffitt, president