Rep. Debbie Armstrong, Chair, Health & Human Services Committee, NM House of Representatives

Air Dates: February 8-10, 2020

This week's guest on REPORT FROM SANTA FE is Representative Debbie Armstrong, Chair of the House of Representatives' Health and Human Services Committee, discussing legislation in both houses of the New Mexico Legislature dealing with critical health issues such as prescription drugs, insurance, and assistance to seniors.

This program takes an in-depth look at health care issues and bills this session from a non-partisan and bi-cameral perspective. Rep. Armstrong is a long-time health care advocate who admits she has been "doing health care in one way or another for more than 40 years."

This interview focuses on 3 main areas of Health Care. Here are some of the bills discussed:

1) Prescription drugs and pharmacy issues: SB 1 (sponsored by Rep Debbie Armstrong & Sen. Mary Kay Papen)Wholesale Drug Importation Act which would reduce costs for medications; HB 292 (Sponsored by Sen. Ivey-Sotoand Rep. Cardena) Capping co-pays for Insulin; and HB 42 (Armstrong) Reimbursement parity betweencertified pharmacists & clinicians.

2) Insurance: HB 100 (Armstrong & Cadena), Expands authority of the Health Insurance Exchange,making insurance more affordable, and redesigning plans; HB 278 ( Reps. Debbie Armstrong,Javier Martinez, Liz Thompson) New health care affordability fund.

3) Seniors: HB 224 (sponsored by 5 Reps - Armstrong, Herrera, Bash, Linda Trujillo, and Jim Trujillo)Kiki Saavedra Senior Dignity Fund; HM 10 (Armstrong) sets up a financial abuse of senior citizenstask force.

Representative Debbie Armstrong, D-District 17 (Bernalillo), is serving her third term in the NM House ofRepresentatives and Chairs the House Health and Human Services Committee. She is Vice-Chair ofthe Rules Committee and is a member of the Judiciary Committee.

Having started her career as a physical therapist, Armstrong has worked extensively as a health care administrator, working 10 years with Presbyterian Medical Services in Santa Fe. Prior to serving as Secretary of New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Terms Services Department, she oversaw the department’s Consumer and Elder Rights Division. Armstrong got a law degree from UNM where she was a professor of BioEthics; she was Cabinet Secretary for the NM Aging and Long Term Care Services,served as Executive Director of the NM High-Risk Insurance Pool, and was President of Delta Consulting Group.