The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us how we are all interdependent and interconnected, and how we are all responsible for each other. We are better now at personal hygiene and self-quarantine – not just to protect ourselves, but also to prevent the disease from spreading even faster and killing people we’ve never met.

The pandemic has given us pause to evaluate where we are going in society. In this moment, we should take the time to consider that, in optimizing for profit, our society has lost sight of what is really important. Greed has become the national religion – maybe now is the time for our own national Reformation. For far too many Americans, money is not just the most important thing, but the only thing that matters.

The pandemic has also shown us the need for universal healthcare that is not tied to employment. Here just in New Mexico, over 100,000 New Mexicans have lost not only their jobs, but also their employment related healthcare.

Millions of people have essential jobs. Many are paid only minimum wage, and live paycheck to paycheck. If they stay home when sick, they have no money – for healthcare or other bills – and so they have no healthcare coverage during this pandemic. If they continue to work when sick, they can spread the virus to other essential workers and to clients.

Our for-profit healthcare system has resulted in shortages caused by the profit motive, something that Senator Sanders has been warning about for decades. In America, universal healthcare plans are portrayed as being “too expensive.” But now that we are living in the middle of a pandemic, many people are talking about covering COVID-19 treatment and drugs for everybody without regard for insurance – which is the essence of universal healthcare! Maybe it takes a disaster like this for Americans to realize that we really do need universal healthcare. Let’s get it done.

Our for-profit healthcare system causes doctors to spend 30% of their time on paperwork, instead of treating patients. This is not helpful: our country is already short of doctors. We can solve the doctor shortage first by eliminating their paperwork duties, and then we can make medical school affordable to make it easier for people to become doctors. Many doctors are saddled with six-figure debt, driving up the cost of providing healthcare.

A whopping two thirds of bankruptcies in this country cite medical bills as a significant cause. Read This is the real reason most Americans file for bankruptcy.

What is the solution from Congress (both parties)? Their solution is to make bankruptcies more difficult! This “solution” supports banks over citizens: Profit over people.

I enthusiastically support the efforts of the Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign. They have been working for 20 years to implement universal healthcare within NM, which is necessary because of the Federal Government’s failure to provide any leadership on this important issue. The Health Security plan has been analyzed and the report has been released about how that this plan would benefit New Mexico. Basically it would cover everybody and cost less than we're spending now. My opponent voted against even this analysis.