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PDA CNM DIGEST October 26, 2017

Please read the following from our PDACNM team. This is the governor’s way of solving the poverty crisis in NM?
From the Healthcare Not Warfare Action Team

The potential future of Medicaid [Centennial Care 2.0] in New Mexico is at stake. This is a critical issue which may negatively impact the future well-being of children, their parents, the disabled and more if the suggested changes are adopted.  The following summary from Ellen Pinnes and The Disability Coalition details the proposed changes. Make your voices heard by sending your comments to HSD. If you have questions, contact Pat Bartels at

This message is from Ellen Pinnes and The Disability Coalition. You can contact Ellen at

The Human Services Department has released a revised version of its draft application for renewal of the federal waiver authorizing the Centennial Care program.  The changes proposed in the application would go into effect on January 1, 2019.  If you’d like to review the full application, you can find it and other information relating to the waiver renewal on the HSD website here.

The department will hold four public meetings (plus a tribal consultation) this month to take public input on the proposed changes.  One of the meetings will include an opportunity for people who can’t attend in person to make comments by phone.  HSD also is accepting written comments.  Dates and locations for the meetings and details on how to submit other comments are given at the end of this message.  Comments are due by November 6.

The draft application mostly follows the proposals outlined in the Concept Paper that HSD released earlier this year, but a few changes have been made.

Issues of Concern

* Monthly premiums for some people with incomes above the federal poverty level (FPL), which this year is $12,060 for an individual and $24,600 for a household of four.  Medicaid doesn’t currently charge premiums (monthly charges for insurance coverage).  The charges would range from $10 to $25 a month in 2019, increasing to $20 to $50 a month in later years.  The department also proposes to charge a flat rate of double the individual rate for households of more than one person, regardless of the number of people in the household, so those charges would range from $20 to $50 a month in 2019, and $40 to $100 a month in later years.

Not paying the required premium would result in loss of Medicaid coverage after a 90-day grace period that would be given to catch up on the payments.  A person who loses coverage would be “locked out” and not permitted to re-enroll in Medicaid for three months.

Experience in other states has shown that even small premiums cause many people to drop off or not to enroll in Medicaid because they can’t afford to pay.  Although HSD says premiums would promote personal responsibility and reduce program costs by shifting those cost to recipients, savings to the state will come primarily from people losing coverage because they can’t afford the premium.

* Co-pays when services are received.  Earlier this year, HSD had proposed to add co-pays for many Medicaid recipients, but it dropped those plans and now intends to begin charging co-pays when the waiver renewal begins in 2019.  Co-pays are problematic because they discourage people from getting the services they need.  And HSD’s proposal to change to annual calculation of the cap on the amount of co-pays someone has to pay (no more than 5% of income) means that someone who uses services frequently – as many people with disabilities must do – might have to pay a very high percentage of their income in the first few months of the year before the cap on these charges kicks in.

* Fees for missed appointments.  The department proposes to let providers charge a fee when a recipient misses three or more appointments, but gives few details on how this would work – apparently those decisions will be left to the managed care organizations.  It appears that even when there’s a good reason the appointment was missed (like the van not picking a person up as scheduled), it could be counted and could subject the person to a penalty.  It’s not clear what the consequences of not paying the fee would be.

* Changes to covered benefits.  HSD proposes to reduce or even eliminate some Medicaid benefits.  Habilitation services for adults are specifically mentioned as a service to be eliminated.  The department also proposes to drop EPSDT coverage for 19- and 20-year-olds, other than those considered “medically frail”. And it may in the future end the limited current coverage for dental and vision services for adults and instead make this coverage available to purchase for an added premium.

HSD also proposes to limit the allowable amounts for some services in the self-directed community benefit (SDCB) – related goods and services would be capped at $2,000/year, non-medical transportation at $1000, and specialized therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic, hippotherapy and massage therapy at $2,000.

* Eliminate retroactive eligibility that covers medical bills for health care services received in the three months before a person applies for Medicaid.  It’s a long-standing rule of Medicaid that the program pays for services in the three months before applying for Medicaid – eliminating this will leave individuals with medical debt and providers with unpaid bills.

Positive elements of the proposal

* Streamlined renewal of eligibility for “nursing facility level of care” (NFLOC) in some cases.  NFLOC is the standard used to determine eligibility for home- and community-based services as well as facility care.  We’ve argued to HSD for years that full annual reassessments of NFLOC for persons whose condition won’t change or improve is personally burdensome for the individual and an unnecessary administrative burden for the state.  We’re pleased that the department has finally come to see that this change in procedure makes sense.

* Increased focus on social factors that affect health, such as housing, nutrition, etc.  There’s little detail on how this would actually work but HSD’s recognition of the importance of addressing these issues is welcome.

* Promoting use of peer support and community health workers.

* Increasing the number of hours of respite for caregivers, from 100 hours a year to 300 hours.  HSD had previously proposed this increase for people caring for kids with special needs, but now proposes to allow it for all who are receiving long-term services and supports through the Community Benefit.

* Providing a one-time allowance of up to $2,000 for start-up goods when a person moves to the self-directed community benefit (SDCB) from the agency-based model (ABCB), to cover things like a computer and printer that are needed to self-direct successfully.

* Improving care for justice-involved individuals by starting care coordination 30 days before the person is released from jail or prison, to ensure a smooth transition to care upon release.  Many of these individuals have mental health or other chronic conditions and making sure they have prompt access to services upon release is important.

* Streamlining income eligibility determinations by using information already available to the state rather than putting the full burden on the individual to prove their income.  This also will reduce administrative burdens for the state.

Opportunities for Public Input

Albuquerque – Monday, October 30, 2017
National Hispanic Cultural Center – Bank of America Theater
1701 4th Street SW
5:30 to 7:30 pm

Human Services Department has added call-in capacity for the final public hearing so anyone who isn’t able to attend one of the meetings in person still has a chance to make oral comments.  You can call in and listen to the meeting – and make comments if you wish – by phone.  The number is 1-888-757-2790 and the participant code is 991 379.

If you have any problems joining the meeting by phone, call or text Kathy Slater-Huff at 505-570-7268 or email her at Submitting written comments to HSD

* By email to:
* Through the department’s website:  Go to the Centennial Care 2.0 section of the HSD website at and scroll down to the bottom of the page, where you’ll find a form to fill out.  You can also attach documents.

* By mail to:

Human Services Department
ATTN: HSD Public Comments
P.O. Box 2348
Santa Fe, NM 87504-2348

The deadline to submit comments is 5:00 pm on Friday, November 6, 2017.

Thanks for making the voice of the disability community heard!



PDACNM is very proud to announce that the Preamble to the State Party Platform was written by one of our own, Jerilyn Bowen.  Jerilyn beautifully articulates the values mirrored in the issues on which PDA was founded and continues to support to this day.


New Mexico Democrats believe that every person matters.  We believe that all citizens should have a voice in how we as a people are governed, not just the rich and powerful.  We stand for the 99%.  We affirm the ties that bind us together as one human family.  We envision a New Mexico in which every person is treated with respect and every person has what it takes to live a life of dignity-secure, decent-paying jobs; a just economic system; not-for-profit universal healthcare; high quality public schools; a safe, healthy environment where the unmatched beauty of our land is preserved for future generations.  As caring citizens of this state, this country, and this planet, we hold these basic rights to be the natural heritage of all people.  As dedicated Democrats, we band together to claim that heritage for every member of our human community, both now and in times to come.

And look for the first Progressive Caucus coming up in our state party in 2018 thanks largely to the efforts of another PDACNM leader – Cheryl Harris. More information

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PDA CNM DIGEST October 17, 2017

PDACNM NEWSLETTER SEPT 12, 2017 Single Payer and Bernie On the Move


Senator Bernie Sanders is set to introduce his single payer health care bill tomorrow.  Years of intense focus and relentless pursuit of his ideal have paid off in the face of overwhelming opposition from both political parties.  This is what statesmen do. Instead of writing a bitter memoir of why he lost the 2016 presidential primary, and he could have been justified in doing so, Bernie has continued to be a champion for ordinary Americans. It’s easy to fall into despair these days, but Bernie has shown us that we can prevail and make a difference if we stay the course.

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PDA CNM DIGEST September 12, 2017

PDACNM NEWSLETTER SEPT 5, 2017 Justice is Not for Sale


Earlier in the summer we talked about the Summer for Progress project which is sponsored by many progressive groups around the country, including PDA, Our Revolution and Working Families Party.  The action requested was to visit offices of US House Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the following bills:

Medicare for All: H.R. 676 Medicare For All Act
Free College Tuition: H.R. 1880 College for All Act of 2017
Worker Rights: H.R.15 – Raise the Wage Act
Women’s Rights: H.R.771 – Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act of 2017
Voting Rights: H.R. 2840 – Automatic Voter Registration Act
Climate Change: H.R. 2242 – Keep It in the Ground Act of 2017
Criminal Justice and Immigrant Rights: H.R.3543 – Justice is Not For Sale Act of 2017
Taxing Wall Street: H.R. 1144 – Inclusive Prosperity Act

The results of our efforts have been published as a scorecard which you can link to here.

FYI Rep. Lujan Grisham has a score of 25% (H.R.771 and H.R. 2840) and Rep. Luján has a score of 13% (H.R.15).  Nancy Pelosi also has a score of 13%.  Reps. Barbara Lee and Jan Schakowsky have scores of 100%

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PDA CNM DIGEST September 5, 2017



A listing of some of the Candidate Forums in Albuquerque

The listed forums that will be moderated by the League of Women Voters will be done in a non-partisan manner per the League’s organization bylaws and guidelines. The League of Women Voters does not support or oppose political candidates or parties and is a nonpartisan organization open to citizens over the age of 18 – that includes both men and women.  The League encourages informed and active participation in government and seeks to influence public policy through education and advocacy.

1. District 4 & 8 Coalition of Neighborhood Associations 
Mayoral Forum 
Tuesday, August 29, 2017, 6:30 –
Eldorado Performing Arts Center
11300 Montgomery Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111 (west of Montgomery, east of Juan Tabo)

The purpose of the forum is to hear the candidates’ opinions about the various important issues impacting our communities. We want to hear their ideas on how to solve some of the critical problems we are facing in Albuquerque.

2. MiABQ Mayoral Forum in partnership with YPA:
Young Professionals of Albuquerque
Wednesday, August 30, 5 – 8 PM
The Cell Theater
708 1st Street NW

The forum is designed to foster informative, productive, peaceful dialogue; towards this end, we will ask candidates to focus on their own platforms, priorities and action plans – and to refrain entirely from discussing the other candidates in the race – throughout the conversation. We will invite each candidate to begin with a short presentation of their vision for Albuquerque; our central prompt for this is: What will the city look like for young people, young professionals and young families after 4 years of your administration – and how will you get us there? Subsequent questions will be crowd-sourced in advance of the forum, and presented at the event by our moderators, Rudy Acosta (Univision) and Erica Zucco (KOB). This one costs 15.00 and requires tickets in advance.

3. State of the City Mayoral Forum
ABQ Center for Peace and Justice
Friday, September 1,  6 – 8 PM
North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center
7521 Carmel Ave NE

Hard hitting questions on Poverty, Policing, Homelessness, Local Economy and Public Transparency–submitted questions from the audience will be posed to the candidates in the second hour. Tom Dent and Samia Assed moderators.

4.  Mayoral Forum – Connecting With The People
NAACP – Albuquerque Chapter
Friday, September 8, 6 – 8 PM
Embassy Suites Hotel
1000 Woodward Place NE

Please join the NAACP-Albuquerque Chapter in a Community Forum to meet the Mayoral Candidates of Albuquerque. If you would like to submit a question to ask the candidates, please email your question by September 2 to

5.  APD Forward Mayoral Candidate Forum
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 –  6 – 7:00 PM
African American Performing Arts Center & Exhibition Hall
310 San Pedro Dr. NE, Albuquerque, NM  87108

Moderated by the League of Women Voters of Central New Mexico

This will be a great opportunity to hear directly from the candidates who want to lead our city about how they intend to support APD’s reforms & oversee compliance with the DOJ’s recommendations.

6.  District 7 Coalition of Neighborhoods Mayoral and City Council Candidate Forum
Sponsored by Hoffmantown, Indian Moon and Near Neighborhood Associations
Saturday, September 9, 2017, 1:30 – 4:00 PM
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
9100 Menaul Blvd. NE

Doors open at 1:00 to allow for question preparation and seating.

Moderated by the League of Women Voters of Central New Mexico

Please call 293-3715 for additional information.

Please remember the forums are not political rallies.

We assume that the meetings will be open to the public and media.

We ask that you do not bring campaign information or signs into the meeting room if the forum is moderated by the League of Women Voters of Central New Mexico.

Please share this information with your friends and neighbors.

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PDA CNM DIGEST August 28, 2017

PDA CNM DIGEST August 29, 2017