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 

The Future Of Health Coverage In N.M.

Oct 17, 2017
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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 dealt another major blow to the Affordable Care Act this week — axing subsidies to insurers that help with out-of-pocket expenses for low-income folks.

Local advocates for health care access are calling on Congress to take action to protect the payments. 

N.M. Insurer Saw Trump's Subsidy Cuts Coming

Oct 13, 2017
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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.

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Flu season is here and state officials are urging people to get vaccinated.

Around 36,000 people across the country die each year from the flu, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What Does NM Need To Beat The Opioid Epidemic?

Oct 2, 2017
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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There’s been a sharp uptick in confirmed West Nile virus cases this year, alongside recent heavy rains.

The state Department of Health and Governor Susana Martinez are advising people to take precautions against the mosquito borne disease.

Allan Ajifo, CC 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico’s flagship university has received a $7 million grant to open a new behavioral health center. Researchers will work directly with people in communities dealing with addiction and mental health issues. 

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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.

NM Insurance Chief Opposes Graham-Cassidy Bill

Sep 25, 2017
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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. 

Mora County Sues Over Opioid Epidemic

Sep 22, 2017
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. 

Santa Fe County Holding Special Election Today

Sep 19, 2017
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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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Albuquerque’s water utility is helping out a small New Mexico town to the south.

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority sent a 6,000-gallon water tanker to supply residents in Carrizozo while that city investigates sulfate contamination in the groundwater supply.

HSD Moves Ahead With Unpopular Medicaid Changes

Sep 6, 2017
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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

Commission Reviewing Adult Guardianship

Aug 31, 2017
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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.

Let's Talk Equal Access To Education

Aug 29, 2017
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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.

Uncertainty Lingers For NM Insurance Markets

Aug 25, 2017
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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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UPDATE 8/24: The vote to put additional fluoride into the water supply in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County was postponed Wednesday night, after lacking enough votes from water utility board members to pass the measure.

Balderas Opposes Rollback Of Nursing Home Rule

Aug 21, 2017
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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.

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Health advocates want money from an $18 million settlement from Volkswagen to be invested in new electric school buses in order to improve the state’s air quality.

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.

Mike Tungate via Wikimedia / creative commons license

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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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. 

LISTEN: Cutting Medicaid To Fix The State Budget

Jul 25, 2017
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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. 

abhijit chendvankar / Flickr via Creative Commons

New Mexico has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation, and now that the Trump Administration has slashed funding for teen pregnancy prevention projects, researchers here say it’s like the rug has been pulled out from under them.

Medicaid Copay Plan Met With Strong Opposition

Jul 18, 2017
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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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