PDACNM Newsletter, February 7, 2019

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FEBRUARY IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH

The following is taken from Wikipedia:

“Black History Month was first proposed by black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State one year later, from 2/1/1970 – 2/28/1970.
Six years later, Black History Month was being celebrated all across the country in educational institutions, centers of Black culture and community centers, both great and small, when President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month, during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial. He urged Americans to ‘seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.'”

Hopes for the Future

By Judy Deutsch

At this troubled time it is easier to dream than it is to hope.

And my dream, as I’m sure is yours, is world peace with sufficient food, housing, Medical care, education and clothing for all the people on this earth, with sufficient care of the environment so that people and other animals can continue to live, and with fairness and dignity accorded to all people.

But I know that not all of that is going to happen in my lifetime, if ever. Actually, it sounds more like a fairy tale than an eventual possibility given the events of the last two years, especially the events of the last few weeks.

And so, what can I hope for?

Much of my hope depends upon the present and incoming Democratic members of our United States House of Representatives, and yet, that hope is diminished because much of the good that they may do will be overridden by the Senate and by President Trump, and by our United States Supreme Court and the many other federal courts whose justices President Trump has appointed.

Do I hope that our Representatives’ investigations will somehow lead to Trump’s impeachment and/or imprisonment? ?

Not really, even though I think that Trump deserves much worse, because I’m more afraid of what Pence would accomplish than what Trump will do. Actually, I’m beginning to wish that both men would just disappear from the earth.

But I do hope that enough Republican and Democratic members of the house will be able to work together with members of the Senate to make our immigration and criminalization policies and practices more humane and just, and to ensure that all United States residents will have quality health care at an affordable price.

Continue reading Hopes for the Future

PDACNM Newsletter, January 28, 2019

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JOIN OUR PDACNM LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERTS

(You will make a difference just by taking a few minutes in a comfortable chair.)
We prioritize progressive bills that fit our issues and send out action alerts when those bills are to come up for votes in committee hearings. We include an explanation of the bills and the names and contact information of legislators to email or call. If you would like to participate in these action alerts, please contact Paul Stokesat (stokescorrales@mac.com).  Please do whatever you have time to do. Any effort goes a long way.

“Supply Bank” for Furloughed Federal Workers.

Please share through your networks

Josie Marrujo, a retire federal employee who personally knows how shutdowns hurt families, is working with our local AFL-CIO to provide a Food Bank and Supplies Bank for local working families.

WHEN: Saturday Feb. 16th at 10:00am

WHERE: AFL-CIO parking lot at 2300 Buena Vista Dr. SE, Suite 126, Albuquerque, NM 87106. (known as the Union Plaza)

DONATIONS TO BRING: Household supplies: toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, soap, feminine hygiene supplies, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, pet food, etc. All those things families need beyond food.

Food for the families is coming from Roadrunner Foodbank, so let’s all help fill in with all the other needed supplies.

FMI or to donate money ahead of the event, contact Josie Marrujo at 505-615-9438.

Remember, even if the shutdown ends, these families have been without a paycheck for OVER A MONTH! Let’s all help our Sisters and Brothers who are federal employees and their families.

PDACNM Newsletter, January 19, 2019

Read the Newsletter Here!

JOIN OUR PDACNM LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERTS

(You will make a difference just by taking a few minutes in a comfortable chair)
We prioritize the most progressive bills that fit our issues and send out action alerts when those bills are to come up for votes. We include an explanation of the bills and the names and contact information of legislators to email or call. If you would like to participate in these action alerts, please contact Paul Stokesat (stokescorrales@mac.com).  Please do whatever you have time to do. Any effort goes a long way.

Promotional Information About the PDA Feb 13 Community Meeting

Join Millions for Prisoners and demand an end to the criminal INJUSTICES being done to New Mexicans every day across the state.

Selinda Guerrero, prominent local organizer and activist who represents Millions for Prisoners, Save the Kids, Building Power for Black New Mexico, and Strong Families will be joined by Kelly Garcia Chavez and Justin Allen, Field Organizers with Millions for Prisoners, to share truths, personal stories and actions we can all take during our PDA February 13th community gathering.

Get to know Millions for Prisoners at https://www.facebook.com/MillionsforPrisonersNM/

About:  In solidarity with all being held behind the walls and by oppressive institutions, laws and policies, we seek to unite activists, advocates, prisoners, ex-prisoners, their family and friends. Abolish the 13th!

Read their media herehttp://sawarimi.org/about/amani-discovering-amani-sawari-ara-re?subscribe=opted_out#blog_subscription-2

Mass incarceration includes such issues as the prison industrial complex, privatization of prisons, disproportionate imprisonment of people of color, school push-out of students of color, the school-to-prison pipeline, mandatory minimum sentences, and legalizing marijuana.

Did you know . . .

  • 25% of the world’s prisoners are imprisoned within our country’s borders yet Americans account for only 5% of the world’s population?
  • Today in the U.S., nearly SEVEN MILLION people are incarcerated, on probation or on parole?
  • New Mexico has the largest number of private prisons in the nation?
  • The profits for private prisons operated by for-profit corporations have increased more than 500% in the last 20 years?
  • ICE is now effectively in our schools? Without any legal changes, schools have become the start of a law-enforcement chain that lets ICE agents on transnational-crime task forces arrest and deport youth who are merely suspected of gang affiliation? (Hannah Dreier, ProPublica)
  • Here in NM, you can have your parole violated and be sent back to prison if a beer can is thrown in your yard and a parole officer notices it? More prison time FOR A BEER CAN that isn’t even yours!
  • Even though NM law states that people who have finished their time behind the walls can regain the right to vote, it is rarely happening? Hear Justin’s recent experience of the struggle to regain his basic right to vote!

What can I do right now?  Support HB57 (introduced by Rep. Gail Chasey). This grassroots campaign for the “Right 2 Vote NM” will allow all New Mexicans over 18 years to vote – regardless of incarceration status. Isn’t the fundamental freedom of our constitution the right for our voices to be heard through voting? Isn’t voting the primary freedom of speech? If passed, NM will be the first state to reaffirm the rights of all citizens to vote.

Call/email your NM Legislators right now and ask them to support HB57 (Senate version coming soon!

Read more about criminal justice reform here:
https://www.themarshallproject.org/records/622-criminal-justice-reform
https://eji.org/bryan-stevenson

Have you experienced “Surprise Medical Billing”? Your stories are needed!

Rep. Nathan Small has introduced SB 207, the Surprise Billing Protection Act to protect consumers from this unfair billing practice. If you have a story to tell please send it to PAIGE.DUHAMEL@state.nm.us in the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance who is in support of this bill.

Surprise medical billing occurs when an insured person is treated by an out-of-network provider that the patient had no role in choosing.  This occurs most frequently in medical emergencies or major surgery situations when an insured person is treated 1) at an in-network facility for a medical or behavioral  emergency and services are provided by ancillary out-of-network providers (surgeon, radiologist, anesthesiologist, pathologist) or 2) patient receives in-patient surgery by an out-of-network provider (physician or ancillary providers) without consent of insured person and is hospitalized  or 3) with elective inpatient admissions at in-network facilities.

These surprise bills can be quite large. Patients may receive bills from multiple providers. One study showed that ambulance rides were billed out-of-network roughly half of the time.

The goals of the bill are to:

1)    Limit the amount billed for out-of- network emergency room care to what the patient would owe an in-network provider,

2)    Limit the amount billed for major surgery costs provided by out-of-network providers to what the patient would owe an in-network provider,

3)    Advise emergency patients that they could run up excess charges if they are in an out-of- network hospital; obtain statement signed by patient that they have been told and understand

4)    Eliminate “Balance Billing” or the ability of a provider to bill a covered person for the difference between the provider’s billed charges and the amount allowed by the insurance plan.  Payment disputes would be resolved by physicians and insurance and not involve consumers.

* The New Mexican Patient Protection Act allows insurers to bill only what a patient would owe an in-network provider for out-of-network emergency care.

There have been other efforts to regulate health care plans to mitigate surprise billing, including a bill introduced in Congress in 2017 by now Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, “The Fair Billing Act of 2017.” Without federal legislation, states are stepping forward to regulate plans themselves.  Other considerations are to establish legislative guidelines for out-of-network providers to seek more payment from insurance carriers based on a formula set up by either state rules or through a federal formula.