Thursday, February 24, 2011
2/25: Health Care Providers and Supporters to Converge on Roundhouse to Support Health Care as Human Right
Health care providers and citizens from across the state will converge on the Roundhouse this Friday, February 25th, for Human Rights Day at the Capital. A media conference and rally will take place on the steps of the Roundhouse starting at 1:30 PM, followed by lobbying activities, according to HealthRightNM.
Human Rights Day supporters back Senate Joint Resolution 5 (SJR 5), a constitutional amendment to recognize health care as a human right. The amendment will acknowledge that health care is an essential safeguard of human life and dignity, and the state will need to ensure that the 449,000 (2008-09 Census Bureau survey) New Mexico residents who currently do not have health coverage can receive access on an equitable basis.
“The vast majority of New Mexicans assume healthcare is already addressed in the constitution, because it is such a basic human right,” said Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, sponsor of the resolution. “Nearly 1 in 4 New Mexicans do not have health coverage. This is unacceptable. By passing SJR 5 we are making it clear that one of the main functions of government is to ensure the health of our people.”
SJR 5 will be heard before the Senate Rules Committee (SRC) Friday morning at 8:30 AM. Supporters will deliver hundreds of signatures in support of the amendment and testimonies to the Committee at the hearing. Upon passage in the Senate Rules Committee, SJR 5 must then be passed to the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) before vote on the Floor of the Senate. If passed, the joint resolution will go to the House for a simple majority passage, ultimately placing the amendment before voters on the November ballot. For full details, please visit www.HealthRightNM.org.
Endorsers of SJR 5 include the New Mexico Public Health Association, Health Action New Mexico, League of Women Voters of New Mexico, Network of Health Professionals for a National Health Program, NM Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Native Health Initiative and The Committee of Interns and Residents.
HealthRightNM supporters will ride the New Mexico Rail Runner Express to Santa Fe for the event this Friday. Health care professionals will wear scrubs, and/or their white coats to show provider support. Participants will carry personalized signs and swap stories while riding the New Mexico Rail Runner Express to the Santa Fe Depot before walking as a group to the steps of the Roundhouse. Special guests, The Raging Grannies will sing original songs on health care reform on the train and at the rally.
The group will gather at the ABQ Downtown Rail Runner Station at 10:00 AM and depart on the 10:35 AM train arriving at the Santa Fe Depot at 12:15 PM.
Take Action: Sign HealthRightNM's open letter to the legislature in support of SJR 5. Call or email your legislators as well as members of the Senate Rules Committee (SRC) to urge their support for SJR 5. Attend the committee hearing Friday morning and the rally on the steps of the Roundhouse that afternoon.
See our earlier post on this effort.