PNS Daily Newscast - February 20, 2020 

Six Democratic presidential contenders face off in Nevada; and ballot security issues in play.

2020Talks - February 19, 2020 

Tonight's the Las Vegas debate, ahead of this weekend's Nevada caucuses. Some candidates are trying to regain the spotlight and others are trying to keep momentum.

Check-up: Groups Catch Fever to Cover More Kids as Veto Threat Looms

September 13, 2007

Consumer groups and healthcare advocates are working frantically to keep health insurance coverage for New Mexico children, and a recent flood of data shows it's needed now more than ever.

The State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), which covers thousands of New Mexico families, is set to expire soon, but President Bush has threatened to veto its renewal proposal, despite studies showing a nationwide increase in the number of uninsured kids. Bruce Lesley is president of "First Focus," which just released a report that lists New Mexico as having the fifth-highest rate of uninsured children in the country.

"A few years ago, we expanded coverage for seniors to get prescription drug coverage; why wouldn't we do the same for children?"

Eric Griego, of New Mexico Voices for Children, says the program is critical for thousands of New Mexico families who make slightly too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private insurance.

"They don't have access to health insurance coverage through work, and S-CHIP is the about the only way to get their kids insured."

A separate report from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows health insurance premiums have been rising faster in New Mexico than the national average. The plan Congress is debating would expand healthcare coverage to as many as five million uninsured kids nationwide. The White House says that would be unfair competition for private insurers.

Additional information about the S-CHIP authorization options can be found online, at

Eric Mack, Public News Service - NM