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.

Ed Williams / KUNM/Public Health New Mexico

As Republicans in Congress iron out the final version of a massive tax overhaul, some nonprofits in New Mexico are bracing for a hit to their budgets.

Nonprofit leaders are worried changes to the standard deduction could lead to fewer people making charitable donations.

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Officials in Santa Fe Public Schools are hoping voters will approve a bond next year to help pay for digital learning programs in classrooms.

The superintendent touted the district’s program at an event Thursday night. 

CSPAN

The Navajo Nation has criticized controversial comments made by President Trump Monday.

At a White House ceremony honoring Navajo Code Talkers who helped the United States win World War II, Trump referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren by calling her 'Pocahontas'—a racially-charged term many find offensive. 

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Attorneys general across the country are claiming that a 2016 law is preventing the Drug Enforcement Agency from stopping the overprescribing of opioid painkillers. This week New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas signed on to a letter with 44 other AG’s calling on Congress to repeal the “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act,” saying the law has handcuffed law enforcement from addressing the epidemic. 

Ed Williams / KUNM/Public Health New Mexico

The Indian Health Service—the federal agency tasked with providing health services to Native American communities—has long been the go-to health care provider for tribes in New Mexico and across the country.

But in recent years, that has started to change, and a growing number of tribes are deciding that managing their own clinics and behavioral health programs will help build healthier, more resilient communities.

Leah Todd

Let’s Talk New Mexico 10/26 8a: In New Mexico and across the West, economies are changing. From agriculture to tech startups, health care and business on tribal lands, communities in New Mexico are working to adapt. 

This week on Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’re looking at communities who are coming up with solutions to the economic changes our state is facing as part of our collaboration with the Solutions Journalism Network's State of Change project. 

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Let's Talk New Mexico 10/19 8a: Recently, the Trump Administration has relaxed rules on health insurance plans and contraception coverage, and cancelled subsidies that help get health coverage to low income people. What do these developments mean for the future of health care in New Mexico? 

Ed Williams/KUNM

The Public Education Department is proposing to make language on climate change and evolution less specific in New Mexico’s classrooms.

The state held its only public hearing on the controversial changes to science standards Monday morning.

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President Trump’s decision to cancel cost sharing subsidies to insurance companies has prompted speculation that plans offered under the Affordable Care Act could unravel. Some insurers in New Mexico are saying not to worry yet.

Ed Williams

Let’s Talk New Mexico 10/5 8a: The opioid epidemic—and what to do about it—has become a national conversation in recent years. Congress has passed bills trying to help, President Trump appointed a task force to outline solutions to the epidemic, and the New Mexico legislature has passed several bills aimed at reducing the death toll from overdoses.

But have those efforts gotten help to the people that need it? What do New Mexico’s communities need to win their fight with opioid addiction?

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New Mexico’s not-for-profit, low-cost insurance cooperative is selling part of its business to a for-profit insurer.

The company hopes the sale will help buffer against uncertainty around the future of the Affordable Care Act.

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New Mexico’s top health insurance official is adding his name to a letter opposing the latest Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

Ed Williams / Public Health New Mexico

The opioid epidemic has racked up enormous costs for local governments in New Mexico, as cities and counties struggle to pay for medical care, law enforcement and treatment services for people dealing with addiction.

In recent years a growing number of local governments have been taking opioid manufacturers and distributors to court over those costs—including Mora County northeast of Santa Fe. 

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Santa Fe County is holding a special election Tuesday to decide whether to raise the gross receipts tax to fund behavioral health services.

If voters approve the measure, taxes in the county will go up one sixteenth of one percent. Officials estimate that will add up to about $2 million a year, which will go to pay for behavioral health services as well as more public safety positions.

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New Mexico’s poverty rate is getting even worse for children under five years old, according to new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Now some child advocates and state legislators are renewing their calls to use money from the state’s permanent fund to pay for childhood programs. 

Ed Williams / KUNM/Public Health New Mexico

Bernalillo County is joining a growing number of state and local governments in taking drug companies to court over the opioid epidemic. The county's decision to sue the drug companies comes just a week after Mora County filed its own suit in district court. 

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The New Mexico Human Services Department has been considering charging Medicaid recipients copays in an effort to save money from the state’s cash-strapped budget. The proposals were met with strong opposition in public meetings earlier this year. But the state is moving forward with the changes anyway. 

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When an adult is not able to take care of themselves because of a disability or brain injury, the courts can appoint a guardian. A commission is reviewing the state’s adult guardianship system and will be taking public comments Friday.

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Let's Talk New Mexico 8/31 8a: Call now 277-KUNM or 277-5866. You can also call toll-free 1-877-899-5866. Are all New Mexico’s students getting the same quality education? A lawsuit against the state says the answer is no, and that low-income kids, kids who speak languages other than English, and kids with disabilities aren't getting their fair share.

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For months health insurance providers on the New Mexico exchange have been struggling with uncertainty—over whether the Affordable Care Act would be repealed, and now over whether the White House will authorize subsidies to insurers after the month of August.

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New Mexico’s attorney general is opposing a move by President Trump to undo an Obama-era rule protecting nursing home patients.

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.

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