PDACNM will be doing something different in June.
Instead of our regular gathering, please join us at the Guild on June 8 at 12:30 PM for this very important film.
The Medicare for All Calculator is a free, online, user-friendly tool based on a proposed financing plan for H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All bill in Congress. With this calculator,mfacalc.com, anyone can enter information anonymously about the number of people in the household with health insurance, their current income, a typical year’s health insurance premium and out of pocket health costs. Once this information is entered the calculator will determine the savings (in most cases) that HR 676 would provide if enacted.
H.R. 676 would expand Medicare to cover all Americans, regardless of age, income or disability. It eliminates ALL individual healthcare costs, premiums, co-pays and deductibles. It adds comprehensive healthcare coverage, including dental, vision, mental health, long-term care, prescription drugs and other benefits.
We are indebted to Kris Hardy, owner of Albuquerque Software for his role in developing the Medicare for All Calculator. And to Health Action New Mexico for their sponsorship.
A group of concerned citizens, many who are former healthcare providers and associates, have formed the Medicare for All Speakers Bureau. We have created a 30 minute Power Point presentation which compares single-payer health system myths vs facts, gives the pertinent points of the bill and a picture of the financial analysis done by Gerald Friedman, PhD., Economics Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, on how to pay for this bill if enacted, “Funding HR 676”, published in 2013.
If your group would like to schedule a presentation email email@example.com for more information.
“209 economists have signed a public statement (here) supporting Medicare for All
. The letter calls the current health care system “exorbitant and wasteful” and asserts that ‘the time is now to create a universal, single-payer, Medicare for All health care system in the United States.'”
“‘This letter illustrates how Medicare for All is really a win-win,’ says Cathy Albisa, Executive Director of the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative. ‘It would lower the nation’s health care costs over time while guaranteeing everyone the care they need and financial security. The only real losers are the big health care companies profiting off of our sickness and health.'”
Read article here.
Discusses his efforts to enact a sweeping package of reforms that will fight corruption, fix our broken politics, and make government work for all Americans.
Senator Udall, NM Rep. Linda Trujillo; NM Rep. Moe Maestas; Paul Stokes, PDACNM; Max Feldman, Counsel in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice; Judy Williams, President NM League of Women Voters; Laurie Weahkee; Exec. Dir. Native American Voters Alliance.
“The For the People Act is a sweeping package of pro-democracy reforms that aims to make it easier, not harder, to vote; end the dominance of big money in politics; and ensure that public officials work for the public interest. The bill serves as Senate companion legislation to H.R. 1 in the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed the House in March of this year. It builds off of Udall’s We the People Democracy Reform Act of 2017, which was introduced in the 115th Congress as a comprehensive reform package encompassing a number of bills championed by Udall and others to address various shortcomings in our political system, and strengthen and revitalize our democracy.” Press Release May 11
PDACNM applauds the Senator for taking bold steps to save our Democracy when it would be easy for him to sit back and relax now that he is no longer a candidate. Instead, he is motivated to do the people’s work as energetically as ever. Let’s support and promote this very important and comprehensive bill.
by Jerilyn Bowen
Come election time in Albuquerque next November, how would you like to be able to cast a ballot for your favorite candidate without worrying that your vote won’t matter? Or that it might even serve to help an abhorrent candidate get into office? Imagine being allowed to rank candidates in order of preference so that, should your top preference not land a majority on the initial tally, your second choice will automatically receive the vote you cast rather than getting lost to an either/or dilemma.
This common sense instrument of voter liberation is called Ranked Choice Voting. It’s designed to allow democracy to flourish rather than struggle against unnecessary impediments. RCV has accordingly been adopted to good effect by many locales across the country, including our neighbor Santa Fe. It earns its stripes by making the electoral process fairer, less expensive, more efficient, less acrimonious, more participatory, and more user-friendly for both voters and candidates. We of the Burque persuasion now have a chance to bring RCV to our fair city. A bill to introduce this improvement is under consideration by the Finance Committee of Albuquerque City Council; if approved at their May 13th meeting to go to the full City Council, it could be passed and put into effect in time for next fall’s municipal elections.
Conserves City Funds & Increases Voter Participation
One great advantage of RCV is that it eliminates the high cost of runoff elections. In an Albuquerque mayoral race, that cost comes to almost a million dollars. In a council election, the runoff tab is similar. In all cases, the money saved can be far better used in programs and public works that benefit the citizens of our city–everything from schools, housing, transportation, and community safety to water conservation, flood control, pollution abatement, and infrastructure upkeep.
Under RCV both publically and privately financed candidates benefit as well–first, from not having to rustle up the funding required by costly runoff elections; and second, by escaping the wear and tear of another round of campaigning. Since runoff turnouts are notoriously low, the RCV instant runoff also ensures that more voters have a voice in the final outcome.
When people feel they can vote their conscience and their votes actually count no matter what, more of them show up at the polls. In its first RCV election last year, Santa Fe saw a 10% increase in turnout over the 2014 mayoral election there. Were Albuquerque to stick with its present old style runoff system in next fall’s election, given that the runoff would be held in the midst of the December holiday season, the usual lower turnout for runoffs would no doubt recur with a vengeance.
Encourages Issue-Oriented Clean Campaigns
Ranked Choice Voting offers many advantages beyond the immediately obvious ones. By way of background: when no one candidate gets 50+ percent of the vote on the first round, the candidate with the fewest first choice votes is eliminated and the second choice of those voters is counted. If there’s still no candidate with a majority, the process continues by eliminating the remaining candidate with the least popular support and counting the next choice on those ballots; and so it goes until one candidate attains a majority vote. In practice this means that some elections will be decided taking into account second and even third choice votes. That being the case, Candidate X has good reason to consider the cost of trashing an opponent who will likely be the favored candidate of some voters, voters who by-the-by may be inclined to put Candidate X down as their second or third choice. This game changer mitigates against the dirty campaign tactics that typically enmire our elections and encourages an upstanding focus on issues, policies, and overall vision of the common good. Wonder of wonders, our elections could become about what matters most to us rather than about who did the best job of confusing the electorate with spin, stirring up fear, creating distrust, and inflaming antagonisms.
Voter Liberation within Our Reach
If that sounds like an attractive option to you, you are not alone. And what high quality candidate would not find it a relief to be freed from dealing with personal attacks, not to mention being freed from feeling they must return such attacks in kind? RCV gives everyone the opportunity to evolve into a more enlightened state of political being.
Along with that, Ranked Choice Voting is a critically needed antidote to the pervasive malaise that now threatens our democracy at every level. Change always arises from the grassroots and Albuquerque is our high desert field of dreams. Let us dream a better way to elect our leaders and make that a reality, right here, right now.
1) Before May 13th call or email Albuquerque City Councilors on Finance Committee. Urge them to vote for Ranked Choice Voting to come before the full City Council.
2) Call or email other City Councilors, starting with your own. Make the case for RCV and ask them to adopt it.
City Council Finance Committee
Other Council Members
On behalf of U.S. Senator Tom Udall, you’re invited to attend a discussion on the For The People Act, the senator’s sweeping package of pro-democracy and anti-corruption reforms to help fix our broken politics, restore the promise of American democracy, and make government work for the people. This landmark bill—which includes measures Sen. Udall has championed for years in the Senate—is the companion legislation to H.R. 1 in the House of Representatives, which passed by a vote of 234-193, and is co-sponsored by the entire Senate Democratic caucus.
From time to time, we like to remind everyone that one of the essential pillars of PDA is Ending Corporate Rule. Based on that mission, we urge everyone to please consider helping out local candidates who are running for office with Public Financing. They need seed money in order to qualify as a candidate.
And we urge everyone to consider the same principle of ending corporate rule when choosing any candidate for public office – national, state, county and city. We hear Democrats say every day that we cannot save our Democracy until we get the influence of big money out of politics; and yet, those same Democrats will unquestionably support candidates who continue to feed at the trough of corporate magnanimity. This kind of hypocrisy cannot be made more obvious than by the results of recent polls that show Joe Biden leading among the announced presidential candidates. It is profoundly troubling, for the reasons listed in the article below, that millions of Americans find Biden to be the most “electable” of all the candidates.
Most of us feel powerless to challenge the vise that money has on our electoral system but one way we can overcome the evil of a corrupt system is to support candidates who refuse to play the corporate game. More and more candidates are refusing to take corporate dollars. We can make a difference by supporting those candidates.