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Martinez spox downplays meeting with anti-abortion activists

Martinez spox downplays meeting with anti-abortion activists

The Susana Martinez administration downplayed a meeting with members of Protest ABQ, a high-profile anti-abortion group. The group wrote that they had met with Martinez in a blog post today. The meeting came on August 16, after a gala for the Baby Brianna Foundation. The “meeting” description of the discussion by Operation Rescue may be overstated. According to a spokesman for Martinez, the meeting wasn’t anything significant. The emailed statement came in response to a question from NM … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Health

Health audit can remain secret, judge rules

Health audit can remain secret, judge rules

By Heath Haussamen A state agency can continue to keep secret most of an audit it used last year to suspend funding for 15 health organizations and spark criminal investigations into potential Medicaid fraud, a judge ruled Thursday. The ruling marks the second time in nine months that Douglas R. Driggers, a district judge in Doña Ana County, has agreed with the state’s Human Services Department (HSD) and Attorney General’s Office (AG) that protecting an ongoing criminal … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Health, Open Government

Health organization sues NM for ‘acting in bad faith’

Health organization sues NM for ‘acting in bad faith’

By Trip Jennings A health organization battling state fraud allegations is accusing the state of acting in bad faith by “improperly withholding” more than half a million dollars it contends it is owed. In a lawsuit filed in Santa Fe this week, Easter Seals El Mirador has asked a judge to order the state Human Services Department (HSD) to release the funds, saying it was cleared of fraud allegations by the Attorney General’s Office in late April … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Featured, Health

Groups still collecting signatures for Santa Fe marijuana penalty reduction

Groups still collecting signatures for Santa Fe marijuana penalty reduction

While headlines have said that the effort to put a question of reducing penalties for possession of marijuana in Santa Fe to the voters, the efforts haven’t failed yet. The Santa Fe clerk’s office validated more than 3,500 of 7,000 signatures turned in by Reducing Marijuana Penalties in an effort to put the question on the November ballot. The effort requires 5,673 signatures for the question to go to voters. With 3,569 valid signatures, the group is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Health, Santa Fe

New Mexico to stay on federal health insurance exchange in 2015

New Mexico to stay on federal health insurance exchange in 2015

The state of New Mexico will remain on the federal exchange for individuals in 2015, the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange Board announced today. Albuquerque Business First reported the news just before noon today. The board made the decision after a vote at today’s NMHIX board meeting. From Albuquerque Business First: Board members were told by its IT vendors that the project completed on time, but there were other problems. The NMHIX did not have a contract … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Health

State and organization clash over significance of renewed inquiry

State and organization clash over significance of renewed inquiry

By Trip Jennings What standard should state investigators use to scrutinize payments the government made to a local health organization for helping children– usually those with behavioral and emotional problems – adjust to certain types of public settings, usually school classrooms? At issue is whether Easter Seals El Mirador – recently cleared of fraud by state Attorney General Gary King’s office – can bill the government for providing those services or not. That question appears to lie at the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Featured, Health

Anti-abortion activists take offense to words by McCleskey

Anti-abortion activists take offense to words by McCleskey

Susana Martinez political strategist Jay McCleskey allegedly called pro-life protesters “pieces of shit” after they were protesting in his neighborhood. ProgressNow New Mexico first noticed the claims by Protest ABQ as posted on Facebook. Protest ABQ is run by Bud and Tara Shaver, the couple who spearheaded the push for a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. That put Albuquerque at the forefront of the debate on abortion. The group has been criticized … Read entire article »

Filed under: Albuquerque, Featured, Health

VA secretary Eric Shinseki resigns; NM delegation responds

VA secretary Eric Shinseki resigns; NM delegation responds

VA secretary Eric Shinseki resigned on Friday, amid calls from dozens, if not hundreds, of U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators following the release of a preliminary report outlining problems in the VA. Shinseki resigned in a meeting with President Barack Obama where he outlined the findings of the report. Obama accepted Shinseki’s resignation. Sloan Gibson, deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs, is the acting secretary. On Thursday, both U.S. Senators and all three U.S. Representatives from New Mexico called … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Health, National News

Udall, Heinrich want Shinseki to resign

Udall, Heinrich want Shinseki to resign

U.S Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heirnich both called on VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down because of a scandal involving wait times at VA hospitals. The calls come after a preliminary report by the Office of the Inspector General showed widespread problems in the VA including hundreds of veterans being kept off the waiting lists in Phoenix. The two are among a growing list of Senators from both parties asking Shinseki to resign. From the New … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Health

Heinrich, Udall respond to VA investigations, allegations

Heinrich, Udall respond to VA investigations, allegations

In response to the latest allegations of mismanagement at VA hospitals, this time at the location in Albuquerque, Sen. Tom Udall announced funding to widen the investigation. The Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs approved an additional $5 million to the Office of the Inspector General of the VA health system. This is in addition to the $121 million given to the office for Fiscal Year 2015. “We need to find out what is truly … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Health