KUNM

Public Health New Mexico

KUNM's Public Health New Mexico reporting project provides in-depth, investigative and continuous coverage of public health in New Mexico, with an emphasis on poverty. For all articles and web exclusive content, go to publichealthnm.org 

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The Albuquerque-area’s public safety net hospital can no longer demand half upfront from uninsured folks getting medically necessary surgeries as of late last week. But advocates say the hospital has yet to fully put this change into practice.

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It’s about time for open enrollment on the state health insurance exchange. The New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange is partnering with Catholic Charities to offer residents free one-on-one appointments with insurance agents and brokers starting November 4th.

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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 / 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. 

Freeabqimages.com

These mayoral forums are a chance to meet and learn about Albuquerque’s mayoral candidates. Topics covered include public safety and police, public health, the economy, and much more. Check them out.

State of the City Mayoral Forum 
Organized by ABQ Center for Peace and Justice
Friday, September 1,  6 – 8 PM
North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center
7521 Carmel Ave NE

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on the New Mexico exchange have been struggling with uncertainty—over whether the Affordable Care Act would be repealed, and now over whether the White House will authorize subsidies to insurers after the month of August.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

KUNM Is Hiring A Public Health Reporter

Aug 4, 2017
Matthew Keefe via Flickr / Creative Commons via Flickr

NEW BEST CONSIDERATION DATE: November 1, 2017.

The KUNM News Department is hiring a reporter for our award-winning Public Health New Mexico project. The position is full-time, based in Albuquerque, and is benefits eligible through the University of New Mexico. 

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Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act died in Congress last week – at least for now. But local insurance carriers are still struggling with a lot of unknowns under President Trump.

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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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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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As Republicans work to fulfill their promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the future of healthcare in the U.S. is up in the air. In New Mexico, health insurance carriers have to submit their proposed premium rates by this weekend. After state officials review them, the public will have 10 days to weigh in.

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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.

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Local anti-poverty advocates are thrilled that House Republicans pulled their proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act Friday before a vote. 

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The Trump Administration’s approach to reviewing local police departments’ use of force practices has some local police reform advocates concerned. But the Albuquerque Police Department plans to fulfill the requirements of a DOJ settlement agreement on police use of force.

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Republicans in Congress have released their plan for replacing the Affordable Care Act and children’s advocates are worried about low-income kids in New Mexico.

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The Los Alamos School District is going to pull out of the National School Lunch Program next year.

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

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.

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The first time an atomic bomb was ever detonated, it happened in New Mexico. The Trinity test spread radiation far and wide here in 1945. People fighting for the health effects of the blast to be acknowledged by the federal government released the first extensive report on Friday, Feb. 10.

KUNM Special 8/3 8a: KUNM has been investigating the impacts of heroin addiction on children and families in Rio Arriba County, N.M. The region's had one of the country’s highest overdose rates for decades. Ed Williams' reporting follows the lives of families and community health leaders, providing an intimate view of the opioid epidemic from the perspective of the people who have been living through it for generations.

Rashad Mahmood

A neighborhood association and an environmental justice group say a gasoline distribution plant is polluting the air in a low-income area of Albuquerque. The city will hold a hearing on the plant Wednesday.

Ed Williams

Rio Arriba County has the country’s highest rate of opioid overdose. That’s partly because a severe shortage of funding for detox and recovery programs has made it almost impossible for people to get life-saving help with their addictions.

Now Congress has passed a broad health measure that includes $1 billion for addiction treatment and prevention services.

KUNM spoke with Senator Martin Heinrich, who voted for the 21st Century Cures Act this week. 

Sarah Trujillo

It’s been almost a year since the New Mexico state auditor’s office announced a special audit of untested sexual assault kits, but law enforcement agencies across the state have made little progress. 

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