Michelle knows that for far too long, New Mexicans have been forced to choose between their putting food on the table and their health. That’s why Michelle is committed to making affordable, high-quality, and comprehensive health care available to every New Mexican, from urban to rural to tribal communities. Michelle will continue to address endemic issues in New Mexico’s healthcare system in order to make accessible and affordable health care a reality for all.
Michelle understands that the best way to make health care accessible to New Mexicans is to lower the cost of care. By establishing the Health Care Affordability Fund, Michelle reduced the cost of health insurance and medical expenses for tens of thousands of New Mexico families. Michelle also took critical steps to protect safeguards under the Affordable Care Act for New Mexicans so that the 337,000 New Mexicans with preexisting conditions would never have to face a denial of coverage or higher price due to no fault of their own.
- Lowered the cost of health insurance premiums
- Cut the cost of prescription drugs
- Invested in and cut copays for behavioral health care
- Protected women’s reproductive rights
New Mexicans across the state struggle with the high cost of prescription drugs. Under Michelle, New Mexico became the third state in the country to cap monthly insulin copayments, lowering health care costs for New Mexicans living with diabetes. Michelle also signed legislation to allow New Mexico to import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada, one of the first states in the country to do so. These health care measures will get New Mexicans the medicine they need at a cost they can afford.
Michelle believes that health care is not comprehensive without affordable, high-quality behavioral health treatment. From day one, Michelle has taken decisive action to rebuild the state’s behavioral health system after it was fraudulently destroyed by the Martinez administration. In addition to working with providers to establish new services and new networks, Michelle eliminated copays for behavioral health services, making sure behavioral health is affordable and accessible to all New Mexicans.
Every woman and every New Mexican deserves access to reproductive health care—that’s why Michelle will continue to be a champion for women’s health care. In 2021, Michelle made history by repealing New Mexico’s 50-year-old criminal abortion statute, protecting New Mexicans access to abortion and ensuring women and their families have the right to make their own choices about pregnancy and reproductive health. Michelle also funded the expansion of postpartum coverage under Medicaid from 60 days to 12 months, guaranteeing New Mexico’s new mothers can focus on themselves and their babies in the first year of life. In 2022, Michelle signed legislation eliminating the “tampon tax,” ensuring necessary feminine hygiene products are affordable. With Michelle as governor, New Mexico remains a safe haven for reproductive health care and women’s rights.
As a caregiver herself, Michelle personally knows the importance of—and the strength and resilience it takes—to provide for New Mexico’s seniors. Michelle signed legislation to invest millions to improve and deliver high quality services for New Mexico’s seniors and create automatic low-cost retirement savings options.
Leadership during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Michelle has demonstrated fearless and diligent leadership in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, saving lives and protecting New Mexico’s booming economy. Throughout the pandemic, Michelle’s priority was keeping New Mexicans safe and ensuring New Mexico businesses received the support that they needed. Her strong leadership and decisive actions saved the lives of countless New Mexicans.
Michelle led one of the most effective COVID-19 responses in the country, defying New Mexico’s odds and leading to lower case numbers and fewer deaths than neighboring states like Arizona and Texas. While other states had limited test availability and result delays, New Mexico was one of the first states to begin and maintain a widespread COVID-19 testing program to limit the spread of the virus. Through the uncertainty of the pandemic, Michelle mobilized New Mexico’s response to COVID-19 more effectively than many other states.
- Prioritized the health and safety of New Mexicans
- Effectively led the vaccine and booster rollout
- Protected and invested in New Mexico small businesses
- Saved the lives of tens of thousands of New Mexicans
Under Michelle’s leadership, New Mexico established the first statewide vaccine registration system in the country, ensuring vaccines were delivered directly to New Mexicans. Michelle worked alongside community leaders with her administration to coordinate businesses, hospitals, and schools in order to get New Mexicans vaccinated. Michelle also worked in consultation and in collaboration with sovereign nations, tribes, and pueblos to ensure native communities had the tools they needed throughout the pandemic. Now, more than 90% of New Mexico adults have now received a COVID-19 vaccination.
Michelle stepped up for New Mexico’s small businesses during the pandemic by delivering $400 million in low-interest loans and $200 million in grants so businesses could continue to keep their doors open. Michelle championed legislation that provided tax relief to businesses by waiving interest and penalties on late payments. Michelle’s work protecting New Mexico businesses is already paying off—In 2020 and 2021, more people applied to start businesses in New Mexico than ever before.
During the pandemic, Michelle’s administration helped New Mexican families when they needed it most. New Mexico created a $600 personal income tax rebate for hundreds of thousands of frontline workers and a $1,200 one-time payment program for unemployed New Mexicans. Michelle made the tough decisions necessary to protect working families and New Mexicans in every corner of the state.