Tuesdays with Tom: Udall discusses health reform legislation, Afghanistan, and efforts to address impact of REAL ID on New Mexicans

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-NM, today talked with radio reporters from around the state about topics including the Senate debate of health insurance reform, President Obama’s speech tonight on Afghanistan, and the potential impact of the REAL ID Act on New Mexicans. To listen to the audio, click here.

Below is a time key of Senator Udall’s remarks:

00:00 – Udall opens the conversation with remarks about the Senate debate of health insurance reform. Discusses the provisions he would like to see strengthened in the bill, including telehealth, access to rural care and inclusion of the Indian Health Services reauthorization. He also talks about President Obama’s speech tonight on his plans for Afghanistan.

05:47 – Praises American troops for their service and reiterates his views on the war in Afghanistan.

07:56 – Discusses how the REAL ID Act may affect New Mexicans.

10:15 – Clarifies possible impacts if an extension to comply with the REAL ID Act is not granted. On Monday, Udall sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to extend the deadline for compliance.

12:20 – Talks about how health reform will benefit New Mexico, including improvements for small businesses and fewer out of pocket expenses for individuals. Discusses benefits of new health insurance exchanges.

15:22 – Anticipates President Obama’s speech, in which he is expected to announce a troop increase in Afghanistan. Adds that he is looking forward to hearing more details on the President’s plan.

17:18 – Discusses the impact of the REAL ID Act on Native American tribes.