Santa Fe Health care providers and citizens from across the state will converge on the Roundhouse this Friday, February 25th for Human Rights Day at the Capital. Human Rights Day supporters back Senate Joint Resolution 5 (SJR5), a constitutional amendment to recognize health care as a human right. The amendment will acknowledge that health care is an essential safeguard of human life and dignity, and the state will need to ensure that the 449,000 ('08-'09 Census Bureau survey) New Mexico residents who currently do not have health coverage can receive access on an equitable basis.
“The vast majority of New Mexicans assume healthcare is already addressed in the constitution, because it is such a basic human right,” said Senator Ortiz y Pino, sponsor of the resolution. “Nearly 1 in 4 New Mexicans do not have health coverage. This is unacceptable. By passing SJR5 we are making it clear that one of the main functions of government is to ensure the health of our people.”
SJR5 will be heard before the Senate Rules Committee Friday morning at 8:30am. Supporters will deliver hundreds of signatures in support of the amendment and testimonies to the Committee at the hearing. Upon passage in the Senate Rules Committee, SJR5 must then be passed to the Senate Judiciary Committee before vote on the Floor of the Senate. If passed, the joint resolution will go to the House for a simple majority passage, ultimately placing the amendment before voters on the November ballot. For full details, please visit www.HealthRightNM.org.
Endorsers of SJR5 include New Mexico Public Health Association, Health Action New Mexico, League of Women Voters of New Mexico, Network of Health Professionals for a National Health Program, NM Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Native Health Initiative and The Committee of Interns and Residents.
Watch a statement from Senator Ortiz Y Pino here.