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UNMH Low-Income Money Heads To Ballot

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The Bernalillo County Commission voted Tuesday night to put a measure that would continue funding treatment for low-income and uninsured patients at UNM Hospital on November’s ballot.

UNM Hospital has been getting around $90 million a year in taxpayer dollars to pay for medical care for patients who can’t afford it. Now voters here will be asked to choose if they want to keep that money coming.

“The reason that this matters is that this funding is critical for UNM Hospital to continue delivering the care it provides the community,” said New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty attorney Sireesha Manne. “And it provides a safety net. It’s a safety net of services for low-income populations, people who can’t get insurance or people who do have insurance but their insurance doesn’t cover what they need.”

There’s been disagreement in the past over whether the hospital is spending that tax money in the way the county intended, but now the hospital and the commission are hammering out an agreement on how future funding would have to be spent.  

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.
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