Transgender Awareness Gains Momentum With Recent Progress

Transgender awareness is growing with more people who identify as transgender sharing the personal struggles they face, while the Obama Administration announces the lift on the Medicare ban for sex reassignment surgery.

Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico's float at the Albuquerque Pride Parade. (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

TGRCNM’s float at the Albuquerque Pride Parade. (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

Transgender awareness is growing with more people who identify as transgender sharing the personal struggles they face, while the Obama Administration announces the lift on the Medicare ban for sex reassignment surgery.

Transgender awareness is growing with more people who identify as transgender sharing the personal struggles they face, while the Obama Administration announces the lift on the Medicare ban for sex reassignment surgery.

Transgender awareness is growing with more people who identify as transgender sharing the personal struggles they face, while the Obama Administration announces the lift on the Medicare ban for sex reassignment surgery.

Transgender awareness is growing with more people who identify as transgender sharing the personal struggles they face, while the Obama Administration announces the lift on the Medicare ban for sex reassignment surgery.

Transgender awareness is growing with more people who identify as transgender sharing the personal struggles they face, while the Obama Administration announces the lift on the Medicare ban for sex reassignment surgery.

Finding Affordable Healthcare with the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange

While the Health Insurance Marketplace is busy enrolling many Americans for healthcare coverage before its March deadline, the Congressional Budget Office released their budget analysis and the projections of the Affordable Care Act.

Finding Affordable Healthcare with the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange on Vimeo.

The national Health Insurance Marketplace or Healthcare.gov launched on October 1st, 2013 with a bumpy start, causing many issues for those who tried to enroll online. Since then the healthcare exchange has signed up more than 2 million Americans as of December 31st, 2013. This total comes from both state and federal ran exchanges and the numbers are rising with the looming March deadline. With the current open enrollment ending on March 31st, 2014 the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange is educating New Mexicans and helping them find real plans that work for them.

New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange or nmhix is helping New Mexicans get the access they need to find quality healthcare. This means no more preexisting conditions, being denied coverage for preventative care and not being stuck in a job just for healthcare coverage. The insurance exchange opens the door to options most individuals have never had before. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation in State Health Facts has New Mexico listed with 425,900 uninsured individuals. This has New Mexico ranking in at one of the highest states for the uninsured.

Debra Hammer, Chief Communications Officer for New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

Debra Hammer, Chief Communications Officer for New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (nmhix) (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

Debra Hammer the Chief Communications Officer for nmhix stated in an interview, “When we talk about preventative health these are healthy people, we want to keep them healthy.” Continuing Hammer also stated, “When you start younger, you develop those healthy habits that keep you healthy in the end.”

Finally, A Simple Way To Get Affordable Health Insurance. (Healthcare Resource, nmhix Brochure)

Finally, A Simple Way To Get Affordable Health Insurance. (Healthcare Resource, nmhix Brochure)

The Congressional Budget Office or CBO recently released a nonpartisan analysis that is a budget outlook with projections for the Affordable Care Act or ACA. This analysis has some calling the Affordable Care Act a tax that will cause the loss of 2.5 million jobs over the next ten years. While the CBO’s Analysis of Health Care back on January 29th, 2014 states on page eight that even after the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented the predominate federal spending for healthcare will be that of older people. Exchange subsidies and related items make up only a small fraction of the CBO’s projections of the ACA for 2023.

The Affordable Care Act was passed to lower healthcare spending in an environment that increased healthcare costs and lowed the quality of coverage. In a recent report healthcare spending is the lowest on record and this slow in cost growth has persisted through the recession that took place 2007-2009. This report also states that the ACA is a contributing factor to this continued slow in cost growth.

Medical Marijuana and the Rise of the Political Push for Legalization in New Mexico

The New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program or MCP was established in 2007 for New Mexico residents. In a recent push by State Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque), New Mexico could be the next state to legalize marijuana.

Medical Marijuana and the Rise of the Political Push for Legalization in New Mexico from Kevin Charles Moore on Vimeo.

With the recent introduction of SJR 10 by New Mexico State Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) the push for legal recreational use of marijuana in New Mexico has begun. The bill is much like Colorado’s Amendment 64 and will allow New Mexico to regulate the production, sale and taxation of marijuana. This bill will also allow residents 21 years of age and older to legally posses marijuana for personal use. It is reported in a poll conducted by Gallup in 2013, that most Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana. While currently marijuana is not legal for recreational use in New Mexico, the state does have a Medical Cannabis Program in place.

Currently under the guidelines of the Medical Cannabis Program or MCP patients must have one of the 17 qualifying conditions to be eligible. But stipulations on the New Mexico Department of Health website states that, “If your patient does not have a qualifying condition and you feel they would benefit from the medical use of cannabis, that person can petition the Medical Advisory Board to add their condition to the current list.” While you can find most of the information for eligibility on the New Mexico Department of Health’s website; places like Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants help patients to get a better understanding of the program.

As of August 30th, 2013 it is reported on the New Mexico Department of Health’s website that there are 9960 active patients. To get enrolled you can contact places like Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants or follow the guidelines outlines on New Mexico Department of Health’s website. While it may seem easy to apply yourself, Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants offer a friendly face to help you understand the laws and know what is within your rights as a patient.

Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

New and returning patients fill out the same application with a submission that includes a copy of their New Mexico driver’s license or state identification. The state only allows residents of New Mexico to apply to the program. You must also provide medical documentation that supports the diagnosis of the condition from the list of 17 outlined by the New Mexico Department of Health. This must include past treatments with the dates of service and the possible benefit vs. risk of Medical Cannabis. Finally, qualifying patients will be provided with a Patient ID Card and a list of Licensed Non-Profit Producers or LNPP for short.

If you would like to read more about the laws behind the MCP you can review the rules on the Law Enforcement Information Sheet available at New Mexico Department of Health.