Letters to the editor (05/01/14)


Safe today, healthy tomorrow
Older adults have made countless contributions and sacrifices to ensure a better life for future generations. Since 1963, communities across the country have shown their gratitude by celebrating Older Americans Month each May.
This celebration recognizes older Americans for their contributions and demonstrates our nation’s commitment to helping them stay healthy and active.
This year’s theme for Older Americans Month is “Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.” The theme focuses on injury prevention and safety to encourage older adults to protect themselves and remain active and independent for as long as possible.
Unintentional injuries to this population result in at least 6 million medically treated injuries and more than 30,000 deaths every year. With an emphasis on safety during Older Americans Month, we encourage older adults to learn about the variety of ways they can avoid the leading causes of injury, like falls.
While the Valencia County Older Americans Program provides services, support, and resources to older adults year-round, Older Americans Month offers an opportunity for us to provide specialized information and services around the important topic of injury prevention. This information will help older adults take control of their safety and live longer, healthier lives.
Throughout the month, The Valencia County Older Americans Program will be conducting activities and providing tips on how to avoid the leading causes of injury. To learn more about Older Americans Month and how you can participate, contact the Older Americans Program at 864-2663.
Contact your local Area Agency on Aging office at 827-7313, or their website at www.ncnmedd.com, and the New Mexico Aging and Long Term Services Department on their website, www.nmaging.state.nm.us. Also, by visiting www.eldercare.gov, or calling 1-800-677-1116 to find ongoing opportunities to celebrate and support older Americans.

Jose Campos
Director of Valencia County Older Americans Program

ACA is good for America
The GOP’s worst nightmare has come true: Obamacare is in place, and people have signed up by the millions. So congratulations to our president and to the Democrats who supported the Affordable Care Act throughout all the GOP’s fear-mongering, propaganda and 40-plus efforts at repeal.
Sure, there were start-up problems, same as with Romneycare and Bush’s prescription drug benefit — problems with the states setting up exchanges and problems with the last minute flood of enrollments. The original ACA website, designed by a corporation that contributes more to GOP candidate than Democratic ones, was a wreck.
And the ACA is not as cost-effective as it should be since any bill that gets past the conservatives in Congress has to funnel a hunk of our tax money to their corporate donors.
But millions of uninsured people now have health insurance, even those with pre-existing conditions. The ACA policies won’t cut people off when they actually get sick, and young people can stay on their family’s plan until they turn 26. People locked into dead-end jobs just to keep their health insurance are now able to change jobs or start their own businesses if they want.
The GOP will keep screaming that “Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster” and the corporate-owned media will continue their tut-tutting and tsk-tsking, but actual facts are now rolling in. Enrollment exceeded its goals for the first year. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reports, among other good news, that Obamacare insurance premiums “will cost the government $5 billion less than projected in 2014 and $104 billion less than projected for the 2015-2024 period.
As one online pundit put it, “Republicans will have to pry my Obamacare from my cold dead hands, which won’t get cold or dead for a long time thanks to Obamacare.”

Laura Sanchez
Los Lunas

Health fair was a success
On behalf of the village of Los Lunas mayor, council and village staff, we would like to thank all the vendors that participated in our ninth annual Health & Wellness Fair held Thursday, April 17, at Daniel Fernandez Gym to include: Acupuncture Associates of America, Adaptive Transportation, Assured Imaging, Brandy Candelaria- Do-Terra, Benefits Plus, Blue Cross Community Centennial (Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico).
Citizen Review Board New Mexico Child Abuse and Neglect, Delta Dental, Farm Bureau Financial Services/Agent Annette Guerrera, Farmers Insurance/Agent Amanda Vigil, First Choice Community Health Care, Health Quest Chiropractic, Hogares Inc. Valencia County.
The 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, La Vida Felicidad, Los Lunas DWI Program/Underage Taskforce, Los Lunas Child Find, Los Lunas Fire Department, Los Lunas Parks and Recreation, Los Lunas Police Department, Los Lunas Public Library.
Lovelace Community Health Plan, Managed Health Care Bureau, National Children’s Study Valencia County, New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, New Mexico Donor Services of Valencia County, PHI Air Medical/Project Heart Start, Rio Grande Children’s Dentistry.
Rio Metro Regional Transit District, ST. Joseph Community Health, Starbucks, The Center for Ageless Living, The Healing Center, Thrive Wellness Center, United Blood Service, UNM Division of Dental Hygiene, United Way of Central New Mexico.
Valencia County News-Bulletin, Valencia Shelter Services, Valle Del Sol of New Mexico, VSP, and YDI Inc., Valencia County.  A very special thank you goes out to Los Lunas Parks and Recreation, Open Space, and Maintenance.
Congratulations Valencia County, 20 special men and women chose to be heroes and donated blood, which saves lives. Finally, we would also like to thank the generous sponsors: Walmart Distribution Center, Business Women of Valencia County, The Coffee Shop and the village of Los Lunas mayor and council.
Without your participation and support, this health fair would not have been possible — so again, thank you all for such a huge success!  Our community is a healthier, safer place as a result of your agencies and the services that are provided.  It is our hope that you will agree to join us again next year.

Ginny Adame
DWI Coordinator
Village of Los Lunas/Valencia County DWI Program