Friday, June 01, 2012
Guest Blog: Where is Our Voice on the PRC? by Danny Maki
Where is our voice on the PRC? Earlier this week the PRC just granted Blue Cross Blue Shield an increase of 6.9%. That is their 3rd increase in 4 years. As an employee of a non-profit that took a pay cut in December due to the economic downturn, this decision to increase the insurance rates does not represent me. Does it represent your best interest?
This political season amidst the letters to the editor advancing "their" candidate by tearing down the candidate they wish to stop, we seem to have forgotten the real importance of the PRC election. The fact of the matter is PRC has ignored the best interests of us, the New Mexico public.
I am Danny Maki, a life-long resident of Santa Fe and now a candidate for the District 3 seat on the powerful but badly troubled and struggling Public Regulation Commission. In the U.S. Congress I worked on the law that created healthcare reform, and because of that experience I understand the importance of a comprehensive healthcare plan so that we are not subjected to these out of control rate increases during an economic downturn. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege.
The work of the PRC is complex and highly technical. I worked at the PRC and I have direct experience analyzing rate cases. I already understand the economic, legal and finances aspects that factor into a rate case and I am prepared on Day One to start the job by asking the informed, tough, but fair questions that remain unanswered.
My grandparents were born and raised in rural areas of New Mexico. My aunts, uncles and cousins live in rural New Mexico today. I understand and value the importance of accessibility. That is why I will bring the commission to the people of New Mexico by holding open office hours in all counties in District 3. This will enable New Mexicans to voice concerns directly to me about a rate case, so I can be a strong voice for consumers across the district.
Another recent action at the PRC that doesn't represent the best interests of New Mexicans is the inappropriate behavior of the current chairman of the PRC, Pat Lyons. A small example of Lyons' inappropriate behavior include his personal use of a Ford 250 pickup truck for approximately 65 days which probably violated the rules of a federal program, resulting in more than $1,100 of questionable costs to the public, that's costs to us as taxpayers. And that's according to an under-publicized audit earlier this year. I am the contender who will hold him accountable for his inappropriate leadership, if it can be called leadership.
As part of a fresh, innovated approach as a PRC commissioner, I'm inviting the non-partisan community groups like the League of Women Voters to perform an audit of the PRC starting my first day in office.
Part of the process to reform the PRC is to ensure that the Commission is serving you at its full potential. This campaign season I propose re-establish a standard of political discourse and focus on our visions for the PRC.
We need a voice on the PRC, a new, fresh perspective. I will work harder, smarter and get the kind of results we've yet to see from the current Public Regulation Commission in New Mexico. Never forgetting my roots in Northern New Mexico, or whom I'm working for, I will put people first again. And while that may seem tough to most career politicians, it's all I've ever known.