DPNM Applauds Call for Fed Investigation of Gov.’s Decimation of NM Behavioral Health System

Congressional Democrats Ask for HHS to Investigate Martinez Decision

The Democratic Party of New Mexico on Friday applauded the four members of the New Mexico Congressional Delegation who sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services calling for an investigation into Gov. Susana Martinez’s 2013 decision to cut off Medicaid funding to local behavioral health providers and award new contracts to out-of-state companies that had supported the governor’s campaign.

“As Democrats, we stand with everyday New Mexicans who work hard to take care of themselves and their families,” said Joe Kabourek, Democratic Party of New Mexico Executive Director. “Those are the very people who lost the care they needed when Susana Martinez effectively shut down the state’s existing behavioral health system so that she could reward campaign donors with new, high-dollar contracts. Our congressional Democrats showed great leadership in calling for a federal investigation into the behavioral health shakeup. They also showed great compassion for the thousands of New Mexicans whose access to needed health care services was denied by the governor’s politically motivated decision.”

In their letter, Sen. Tom Udall, Sen. Martin Heinrich, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan called on HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell to take action. They further indicated that their previous requests for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to get involved had been ignored.

“The time for answers is now,” Kabourek said. “Providers and patients have been asking questions since the governor created this problem more than two-and-a-half years ago. We can’t turn back the clock, but we can make sure that patients finally have the care they need—and that this never, ever happens again.”

The delegation letter was released on Friday.