The New Mexico Legislature convened its 2022 session on Jan. 18, and we are there. We are committed to advocating for policies that build healthier lives and communities across New Mexico, and we need your help to be successful. Please be on the lookout for email updates and calls to action in the coming weeks.
Here are a few of the issues we anticipate:
Tobacco Tax – One in three New Mexico high school students is using e-cigarettes, which have high levels of nicotine and are extremely addictive. These products are taxed at a very low rate, making them cheap and affordable for youth. They also come in flavors like mint, menthol, watermelon and other candy or fruit flavors that appeal to youth. Raising the price per pack of cigarettes by $2 and increasing the price on e-cigarettes and other tobacco products will not only help prevent youth from starting, but it will help current tobacco users quit and raise funds for prevention programs and services.
Medicaid Coverage for Postpartum – We want to ensure all individuals whose pregnancies are covered by Medicaid can keep their Medicaid coverage for at least one year postpartum. Extending coverage for new mothers from 60 days to 12 months makes sure new moms are taking care of their heart health as heart disease is the No. 1 killer of new moms. Growing evidence suggests pregnancy complications are a marker of future health risk, particularly heart disease and stroke, which develops earlier and at higher rates among communities of color. Extending health care coverage for a full year will help individuals receive the medical care they need to be screened for the development of risk factors like high blood pressure and receive adequate counseling for heart disease and stroke prevention, postpartum depression, substance use, and more.
Health Care Easy Enrollment Program – We support the establishment of programs that allow the state’s health care exchange to determine and communicate eligibility for free or low-cost health insurance based on information in state tax returns. This allows eligible New Mexicans to enroll into Medicaid and other low-cost health insurance plans, receive preventative medical services and avoid expensive emergency room (ER) visits, helps hospitals with overcrowded ERs, and helps with cost savings for the state and hospitals.
We hope you can join us as we work together to improve and save lives through smart and effective policy and appropriations. You can be a part of our 2022 New Mexico Virtual Week of Action beginning Feb. 1 by going here.
Thank you for being a part of our You’re the Cure network and these efforts!