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Health premiums hang in the balance

July 13, 2018 GMT

In the New York Times story published in The New Mexican (“Health insurers warn of turmoil as Trump halts payments,” July 8), Martin Hickey, founder of New Mexico Health Connections, the company that won a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Mexico arguing that the risk adjustment payment formula used by the government “discriminated against new and small insurers, including co-ops like ours,” thinks “the court ruling would benefit consumers” and the government’s decision to suspend the risk adjustment payments “will increase competition, and competition will help keep prices down.”

I’m a healthy adult and have been a bronze-level subscriber to New Mexico Health Connections since 2015. My premiums have increased an average of 35 percent each year. Mr. Hickey, the proof is in the pudding. Let’s see what New Mexico Health Connections’ 2019 premiums look like in light of your win in court and this move by the administration.

R. Jones

Santa Fe

Formula for bullying

Sadly, I am no longer shocked (“Breastfeeding clash with U.S. shocks health officials,” July 9) by the actions of our government at the World Health Assembly in threatening countries offering a resolution limiting the inaccurate and misleading marketing of baby formula. We seem to be acting as mere puppets for multinational corporations such as Nestlé. For decades, companies like Nestlé have pushed their products in poor countries where women have no access to clean water to mix with the formula and often lack the money for sufficient formula. I really want to believe that we are better than this business-first, bullying country that sees the weak, the poor, the helpless as simply consumers, even if the product might cause harm or death. Yet when I see our government behaving this way, that belief becomes hard to sustain.

Barbara Leu

Santa Fe

Grateful for care

My wife has a chronic condition that required a few days in the Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center recently. As someone who served on a hospital board in another city, I am pleased to report that it was as satisfactory as any hospital stay can be. Because of the emergency response team (responders were at our house within five minutes) we got to the hospital in no time. My wife was admitted to the ER and transferred to critical care unit a few hours later. The entire ER and admissions process was handled seamlessly, and once settled into her room, my wife’s experience was excellent. The room was comfortable, with space for a family member to stay overnight, and the staff was outstanding. It was an impressive experience all around, and we both left feeling that Santa Fe is lucky to have such a facility. We offer a grateful high-five to everyone involved.

Arnold Tenenbaum

Santa Fe

No yes man

In response to Mark Johnson’s letter to the editor (“Not N.Y., but that’s OK,” July 8), fortunately for us, reviewer James Keller knows what he’s writing about. Learn from him. He was completely on track with his review of Santa Fe Opera’s Candide (“SFO goes globe-trotting with Candide,” July 1). And, yes, we do need an unbiased, educated opinion of Santa Fe Opera’s productions. We don’t need a yes man writing the reviews.

Felicia Rocca

Santa Fe

Consider contraception

Kudos to Glen Smerage for lifting up the human overpopulation problem (“Overpopulation by humans is real,” My View, July 8). Saving the whales, elephants, rhinos or rainforest will ultimately do no good as long as we humans continue to grow our population. It took all of human history to reach a billion people on Earth by 1900. In the ensuing 118 years, humans have managed to increase sevenfold. In reality, scientists estimate Earth can sustain about 3 billion people. We had better address the population problem or we will make ourselves extinct. I am not optimistic when major religions oppose most means of population control, including and most importantly contraception. For an enlightened graphic, see Population Connection’s video at vimeo.com/117966864.

Carolyn Dusty Pruitt

Santa Fe