Talk of the Town: Malpractice costs, smart meters and bad legislation - Albuquerque Journal

Talk of the Town: Malpractice costs, smart meters and bad legislation

No insurance will mean no doctors

I ATTENDED the Senate committee hearing (March 2) on the bill that would keep physician-owned outpatient clinics from facing an almost seven-fold increase in their malpractice cap in January of 2024. It wasn’t my favorite way to spend an afternoon, but I have a stake in the bill. Like many residents of New Mexico, I get almost all my medical treatment from doctors at these clinics: the New Mexico Cancer Center treated my breast cancer, I see Women’s Specialists yearly. Southwest Gastroenterology does my GI screening. I depend on doctors at Eye Associates, X-Ray Associates and many others.

The hearing room was flooded with physicians and patients supporting the bill. It was crystal clear that these clinics will have to close their doors if this bill is not passed. There was no reason not to pass it, and the only people who spoke against it were plaintiff’s attorneys. Nevertheless, the five Democratic senators voted to table the bill, saying vaguely that it was an insurance issue. Absolutely it is. Doctors are not going to practice without insurance.

Janet Braziel, Corrales

Testimony shows smart meter trouble

HOUSE BILL 243 (Grid Modernization Plans) introduced Jan. 31 would mandate smart meters throughout New Mexico. …

This bill should be withdrawn and not supported because it is an environmental disaster. PNM’s application for smart meters, presently before the Public Regulation Commission, is scheduled for public hearings March 20-23. HB 243 is an attempt by PNM to circumvent the public process.

Hundreds of public comments have poured in to the PRC from around the world testifying to the catastrophic effects of smart meters on health and environment wherever they have been deployed. They are from people who knew nothing about smart meters and who, when smart meters were installed, were injured, disabled, made homeless, killed and exiled while simply living in their own homes. They testify to injuries and deaths to themselves and to their spouses, parents, children, neighbors, pets and to the birds, animals and plants in their yards and neighborhoods. Their stories are posted on the PRC’s website in Case 22-00058-UT.

The Grid Modernization Act of 2020 permits utilities to apply to the PRC for permission to deploy smart meters. HB 243 would make the filing of plans to deploy smart meters mandatory. This would tie the hands of the PRC and … render the PRC unable to hear the public testimony in the present proceeding and act accordingly. The PRC would be virtually forced to approve a technology that has damaged the public health and despoiled the environment wherever it has been deployed. This bill would circumvent the process that has already defeated smart meters twice in this state.

Arthur Firstenberg, Santa Fe

Focus on what will make a difference

IN THE remaining time the Legislature has to make a difference in our state, it should be focusing on doing more to protect our children and seniors. Provide better services for our veterans. They fought for the freedoms we have today.

Instead of taking away some of those freedoms, manage them. In lieu of banning plastic bags, for example, charge 15 cents for them. Ten cents would go toward providing services for our veterans in every corner of the state and on tribal lands. Three cents could go toward administration of the funds by the state and 2 cents for better recycling facilities.

CYFD needs to be completely restructured in order to provide the services meant to protect our children. Clearly what we have now isn’t working. There needs to be better oversight and reporting of child abuse.

Sending an absentee ballot to everyone leaves the state wide open for fraud. Who is going to verify that every ballot is accurate and legal? Do the individuals still live where a ballot is sent? Felons gave up their right to vote. It’s highly unlikely an individual convicted of murder is going to either stand in line at the polls or take the time to fill out an absentee ballot.

I urge the Legislature to take the time to consider legislation that really matters and will make a difference. The clock is ticking.

Teresa Carroll, Albuquerque

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