ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — I was a history major in college, and so am always intrigued when I encounter the phrase “history will look back” and issue a final judgment on this or that policy decision.
I have been and will continue to be an outspoken critic of the (Gov. Susana) Martinez administration’s decision to put a dozen or so New Mexico behavioral health non-profits out of business without any benefit of due process. The New Mexico concerns that the Arizona companies replaced still have no idea what the findings were – or were not – as they were not given the courtesy or fundamental right of being informed of the specifics involved.
Former New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative CEO Diana McWilliams can pounce on a random incident by a low-level Easter Seals employee that was responsibly dealt with at the time and referred to the proper authorities as a way of justifying the wholesale dismantling of a dozen other of our state’s mental health nonprofits, but the bottom line remains that this was a horrible policy decision by any reasonable standard.
In terms of history’s final judgment, as long as we are going down that path, I would counter that history will record the HSD behavioral health audit as a grave miscarriage of justice that disrupted the lives of our most vulnerable citizens, and from a policy perspective, has left our state’s behavioral health system in disarray.