KUNM

Ed Williams

Public Health New Mexico Reporter

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.

Bernalillo County

Water has always been at the center of the controversy over Santolina, a massive project planned for over 20 square miles on a dusty mesa west of Albuquerque. The project got another boost Tuesday after officials voted to allow the project’s developers more time to come up with a plan for water use.

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The Bernalillo County Commission will hold another public meeting Tuesday on Santolina, a controversial 22-square mile residential development planned for an area west of Albuquerque.

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Health advocates in New Mexico are urging lawmakers to improve Medicaid and the insurance markets now that Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have failed. 

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KUNM Call In Show 7/27 8a: As New Mexico grapples with a budget crisis, the state is considering whether to save money by making changes to Medicaid—things like charging copays for prescriptions and doctor visits and eliminating dental care for Medicaid recipients. 

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New Mexico is considering a plan to charge Medicaid patients copays as a way to save the state money. The proposal is drawing strong criticism from health care groups, poverty advocates and Medicaid recipients.

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New Mexico allotted $940 million to pay for its share of Medicaid costs this year, but that’s still not enough to keep up with the growing number of people signing up for the program. The state Human Services Department is considering charging copays to people on Medicaid as part of a plan to cut costs.

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Poverty advocates say the Republicans’ new plan to repeal and replace Obamacare would leave many low-income people in New Mexico without coverage.

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New Mexico’s top prosecutor is taking one of the state’s largest health care providers to court over alleged tax fraud. Attorney General Hector Balderas announced the lawsuit against Presbyterian Health Services yesterday.

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KUNM Call In Show 7/13 8a: New Mexico’s population is aging fast. But with a high poverty rate, problems with Medicaid, and potential health care cuts on the horizon, this state’s senior citizens are facing a number of challenges. What do you think needs to be done to make sure older New Mexicans get the support they need? Are you a caregiver, health worker or retiree? 

Email callinShow@kunm.org or call in live during the show.

Guests:

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Attorneys General in New Mexico and California are suing the federal government over its delay of Obama-era air pollution rules. 

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This week the Congressional Budget Office released its report on the Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. It found a number of impacts for older Americans. Those changes could be felt particularly hard in New Mexico.

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More than 50,000 people in the U.S. died because of an opioid overdose last year, which is an all-time high.

The opioid epidemic was the subject of Congress’s Joint Economic Committee hearing last week. New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich, a Democrat, is the ranking member of that committee. He spoke with KUNM about the hearing and the prospects for behavioral health in the Republican health care replacement bill. 

Two civil rights groups are taking New Mexico’s public education system to court. They say the state doesn’t fund education well enough, doesn’t provide the right programming and is violating some students’ rights.

The trial started Monday in Santa Fe. 

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The state spent almost half its 2015 child behavioral health dollars on expensive outpatient programs that have not been shown to be effective, according to a report presented to lawmakers Wednesday.

Ed Williams

Over two decades ago, toxic dry cleaning chemicals seeped into the groundwater from a chemical distribution company’s warehouse near downtown Albuquerque. Today the plume spreads from Laun-Dry Supply Company about a mile and a half eastward towards I-25.

After a long investigation, the New Mexico Environment Department is poised to move forward with a full-scale cleanup of the chemical plume.

Ed Williams

A drug that can reverse a heroin overdose is set to become more widely available in New Mexico. It’s the latest attempt to fight the opioid epidemic here—but even as naloxone becomes more available, other addiction and treatment services are struggling.

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KUNM Call In Show 5/11 8a: Call 1-877-899-5866. With Republican plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act moving through congress, the future of healthcare in New Mexico is facing a lot of uncertainty. We’ll look at what changing the healthcare law could mean for New Mexicans, and for our state’s Medicaid system and insurance markets.

Bjoertvedt / Creative Commons License via Wikimedia Commons

Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act passed a major hurdle Thursday after the House of Representatives voted for a new health law, the American Healthcare Act. KUNM’s Chris Boros spoke with Ed Williams of the Public Health New Mexico project about reactions in New Mexico.

Ed Williams

New Mexico will receive $4.8 million in federal dollars for opioid treatment and prevention this year. The money comes from the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill signed by President Obama in December that gives states new funding to fight the opioid epidemic. 

Ed Williams

Honstein Oil Company’s gasoline distribution plant is located in the middle of a low-income Albuquerque neighborhood, and just a few blocks from an elementary school. Environmental justice groups have been asking the city to revoke the plant’s permit for years. The city dismissed the group’s appeal Wednesday. 

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One of the bills that Governor Susana Martinez vetoed last week would have set up a Medicaid-funded home visiting program for new parents. The move has disappointed some doctors and child advocates.

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This week Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would withhold federal grants to cities that don’t follow federal rules on immigration enforcement. Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales has been an outspoken critic of the Trump Administration’s stance on immigration. He says he won’t be changing the city’s openly immigrant-friendly policies.

Borderlands Under Trump

Feb 27, 2017
Marisa Demarco

KUNM Call In Show 3/2 8a: Call now toll-free 1-877-899-5866. President Trump has issued executive orders that beef up immigration enforcement, and that also affect refugees and travelers from certain majority-Muslim countries. Is toughening rules on immigrants and refugees a good thing for New Mexico? What are the implications of these rules, and how are local elected officials responding? 

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Republicans unveiled a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act last week. U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich has been a vocal critic of repealing the healthcare law. He spoke with KUNM's Ed Williams about what changes to the ACA could mean for this state. 

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Cities across the country have reported an uptick in federal immigration raids. On Wednesday Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested undocumented immigrants in Las Cruces.

Sarah Silva of the immigrant rights group NM Café has been leading protests against the ICE operations in Doña Ana County. She spoke with KUNM about the immigration raids there. 

Ed Williams

A national bus tour protesting Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act is passing through New Mexico. The Save My Care campaign held a rally in Albuquerque Wednesday.

Ed Williams

The New Mexico Senate approved a bill Monday that provides more legal protection to people calling 911 to report a drug overdose. Lawmakers hope the bill will encourage more people to call for help.

Ed Williams

When someone addicted to heroin or prescription wants to quit, the first step is to find a detox center where they can safely go through withdrawals from the drug, but people in northern New Mexico who are trying to get help often can’t find it.

Ed Williams / KUNM

When a public health crisis gets out of control, it can overwhelm law enforcement agencies. That’s what’s happened with the Española Police Department as it deals with a decades-old opioid epidemic and all the crime that goes with it. 

Española High School Students Hunger For Respect, Support

Jan 31, 2017
Ed Williams / KUNM

When kids are at high risk for addiction, a good public school system can be one of the most effective ways to prevent drug use. On the other hand, dysfunctional schools can make drug use by students more likely.

In Española public schools, teacher turnover and problems with the administration have created a lot of instability for students. But students at Española Valley High School say it’s time to focus on what’s good about their school.

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