Written by Akkana Peck (Los Alamos)
State-based SP organizations
Health Security Act (NM) Support Group, https://www.nmhealthsecurity.org/
Many national organizations with NM chapters listed.
State-based SP bills
SB279/ HB295 (Health Security Act)
Summary: to enact the Health Security Act to provide for comprehensive statewide health care, the development of a health security plan, and the creation of a commission.
Sponsors: Sen. Carlos R. Cisneros, Gerald Ortiz y Pino, William Soules, Richard C. Martinez, Peter Wirth (Maj Floor Leader); Rep Deborah A. Armstrong, Roberto “Bobby” J. Gonzales, Gail Chasey, Patricia Roybal Caballero, Joanne J. Ferrary, Micaela Lara Cadena, Susan K. Herrera, William Pratt, Angelica Rubio, Elizabeth Thomson
Status: Had hearing and report. Postponed indefinitely (but related bill, HB92 passed).
HB92– / Health Security Plan Analysis study (Passed).
Enables the study of the HSA plan and secures funding for it;
Bills short of single payer, but which safeguard consumers (passed both houses and signed by governor)
- SB337, the Surprise Billing Protection Act (passed, signed by governor)
- SB188, the Health Insurance Prior Authorization Act (passed, signed by governor)
- HB89, Health Coverage for Contraception (passed, signed by governor)
- HB416/SB405, the Medicaid Buy-in Act (didn’t pass)
Obstacles to SP in the current context
NM is hampered by its very short legislative sessions. Many reps are supportive but they file more bills than they can discuss and vote on, so it takes many years for bills to work their way through.
Every other year is a short session that’s supposed to be only budget-related bills, so we probably won’t have more healthcare progress until 2021 (but hopefully then the HSPA study will have finished and we can push for progress on that).
Plus the usual opposition from organized insurance and health care provider lobbyists.
Many residents working for government labs or agencies who won’t be included in a statewide single-payer plan. Large Indian population, with unique legal issues there. (These are not obstacles to implementing SP, but they need to be taken into account.)
Advantages for SP in current context
NM is well positioned for considering SP: much of the state is rural and there are many areas where it’s difficult to get either insurance or care, and we have a high proportion of residents on Medicaid. So health coverage is challenging here already; and single-payer should be able to help address those challenges.
League of Women Voters-NM has several individuals who can lobby for some healthcare issues and are authorized to speak for the League.
Goals for SP movement in NM 2019-2020
Health Security Act group will be following HB92 and getting ready to mobilize people
when the study finishes — depending on its conclusions, but of course we think the study will show that single-payer will be a win for the state.
Where can people find news about Single Payer in your state and/or join a group?
Health Security for New Mexico Campaign (w/ over 150 member organizations listed)
https://www.nmhealthsecurity.org/ (click “get involved”) / Hsncm.firstname.lastname@example.org