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Public to Offer ‘Prescriptions’ for Health Care Reform at Forums Across NM

August 22, 2007

This week, the 'talk of the town' across New Mexico will be how to achieve the goal of health care for all citizens. Both a state legislative committee and a coalition of public health advocates will host public meetings to hear residents' ideas about health care reform.

Senator Dede Feldman chairs the state's Health and Human Service Committee, which will take public testimony this week in Gallup and Zuni Pueblo. She says at earlier meetings, the public message was loud and clear.

"Health care is their number one domestic issue. We can use that opportunity to move forward with a universal health care plan, so we can have affordable, quality health care for all."

Feldman's committee is working on health care reform legislation for next year's session. Meanwhile, the Health Care for All Campaign is organizing other forums tonight in Taos and tomorrow in Rio Rancho. It's a coalition of public health, senior, children's, women's and faith-based organizations that includes Health Action New Mexico, where Charlotte Roybal says people should make their voices heard at any of the public meetings.

"We can't change health policy in New Mexico unless our elected officials and policymakers hear from people. It's very important that people come, form their own opinions, ask questions, and take the time to contact their legislators."

New Mexico has the second highest rate of uninsured people in the nation.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - NM