New Mexico Senator to Introduce Human Right to Health Care Amendment to State Constitution

Supported by New Mexico health equity advocates under the umbrella of HealthRightNM, State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino will introduce a constitutional amendment to recognize health care as a human right during the 2011 session of the New Mexico legislature.

This is the proposed text of the amendment:

"Health care is a fundamental right that is an essential safeguard of human life and dignity, and the state shall ensure that every resident is able to realize this right by establishing a comprehensive system of quality health care that is accessible to each resident on an equitable basis, regardless of ability to pay.”

HealthRightNM is inviting signatures to an open letter supporting the amendment. The signatures will be delivered to state lawmakers during the 2011 legislative session.

“We the undersigned give our support to amend the Constitution of the State of New Mexico to specify health care as a fundamental right of all persons residing in the state. We urge the Legislature to join us in support of this amendment. We believe every New Mexican should have equal opportunity to enjoy the highest attainable level of health.”

On February 25, 2011, HealthRightNM will hold a rally in support of the human right to health care amendment.

New Mexico’s constitution can be amended if a resolution introduced in the legislature wins a simple majority in both houses, followed by a simple majority vote of the statewide electorate.