Healthy and Safe Communities
Our communities, workforce, and economy cannot be healthy when so many New Mexico children and families lack access to a comprehensive and high-quality system of physical and behavioral health, prevention, and wellness resources. Safe and supportive communities build resilient families and a strong state.
Cuts to Medicaid will make New Mexico’s budget problems worse
Every year, as we continue to give away much-needed revenue in the form of ineffective tax cuts, New Mexico must revisit this choice: do we protect tax cuts for corporations and the rich and continue to under-fund critical services like health care and education or do we raise new revenue and invest in the programs that make New Mexico’s people and economy strong and healthy? (Fact sheet; May 2016) Read more
HSD inefficiencies cost New Mexico money and deny eligible families food and medical assistance
For a quarter of a century New Mexico has been under a court order to improve how it processes applications for food and health care benefits. Yet it continues to be in contempt of court. This fact sheet looks at the problems and presents solutions. Produced in conjunction with the NM Center on Law and Poverty
. (Fact sheet; March 2016) Read more
Helping Food-Insecure Households in New Mexico Afford Healthier Choices through the SNAP Double Up Food Bucks Program
New Mexico is a poor state with high rates of food insecurity and with too many adults and children suffering from nutrition-related chronic conditions. Programs that incentivize consumption of locally grown, fresh produce to food-insecure individuals offer both health benefits to low-income communities as well as economic benefits to local farmers. (Policy brief; Jan. 2016) Read more
After New Mexico expanded Medicaid to low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act, enrollment increased. The state also added jobs in the health and social assistance industries. Meanwhile, cost increases to the state have been minimal. (Fact sheet; Feb. 2017) Read more
This PowerPoint looks at some possible funding sources for New Mexico's child abuse prevention programs, as well as presents the NM S.A.F.E. campaign as a good model for determining if legislation would protect future victims from violent crime. Presented at the UNM Health Sciences Center’s conference, Childhood Adversity: The impact of Maltreatment—Definitions, Prevention and Intervention Strategies. (Feb. 2017) Read more
This PowerPoint looks at how reinstating the tax on groceries would impact the health of New Mexico’s already-food-insecure families. Presented at the NM Public Health Association’s Health Policy Legislative Forum. (Dec. 2016) Read more
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Recent Blog Posts
Last year’s very contentious presidential campaign put the treatment of women—among other groups of people—in the spotlight. Leaving aside the ugliness of that debate, it does raise the larger question of how we as a country and as a state treat women and the issues most important to them. If we had a woman’s agenda, what would it look like?
In reaction to the revenue shortfall that was created in large part by bad tax policy decisions, some lawmakers are looking to enact more bad policy. But sweeping up money from these special funds will endanger more than just common sense.
State government has a very important job to do. It ensures that all children receive an education that will prepare them to be productive adults. It works to keep our streets safe and our infrastructure in good repair. It must respond to public health threats and keep an eye to future needs. When state government does its job well, it enables and strengthens the state’s economic growth and helps its people thrive.
It's always gratifying when we can link a good outcome directly to a specific public policy--as we can in this case. We can also often predict a poor outcome when a bad decision is made. If we're smart, we'll use that knowledge to make better decisions. In this case, however, some lawmakers insisted on making a bad decision anyway.
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A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a study to determine if a public policy may have unintended consequences on the health of a community or population. Specifically, this HIA looks at whether reinstating the gross receipts tax on food–essentially raising the cost of groceries–would negatively impact the health of New Mexico’s low-income families and, if so, whether the potential benefits of more revenue for local governments would offset such impacts.
Big Ideas: Children in the Southwest The Southwest is home to more than one-fourth of America’s children. This unique set of publications brings some of America’s most innovative thinkers together to examine the distinct needs of children in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah, and offer game-changing ideas to meet those needs. Our own Bill Jordan was tapped as a resource for this First Focus publication.