Lisa Shin, owner of Los Alamos Family Eyecare, PC, has announced her candidacy for Dist. 43. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
Lisa Shin has announced her candidacy for representative of New Mexico House Dist. 43. Shin, a Republican, joins the race for the elected seat along with Democrats and Los Alamos County Councilors Christine Chandler and Pete Sheehey.
Shin said she welcomes the opportunity to run for public office and shared her vision.
“I am very excited about the prospect of making a difference and effecting change on the state level,” she wrote in an email. “As the daughter of Korean immigrants, my parents came to America over 40 years ago, to pursue the American Dream of opportunity, prosperity, and freedom for their children and their grandchildren. They envisioned success through strong families, self-reliance, hard work, and perseverance. When I realized that this dream was being lost for so many Americans, I became politically active and involved. Like millions, I was unhappy with the direction of our country. This is what fueled my political activism two years ago, and it is what motivates me, even now.”
This is the first public office Shin has pursued. She describes herself as a political outsider who brings her experience as a healthcare provider and a small business owner to the table. Shin is an optometrist and moved to Los Alamos in 1997. She built her own private practice, Los Alamos Family Eyecare, PC.
Shin is active in the local Republican party. In her email, Shin said, “My platform advances freedom, opportunity and prosperity for our District, with a strong focus on affordable health care, public health issues, and tax reform.”
Shin said many people can’t afford private insurance and the State can’t afford Medicaid. New Mexico is facing a budget deficit due to Medicaid expansion, which impacts funding for public safety, education and infrastructure.
“We need a fiscally sustainable and robust health care market for both private and public health insurance so that people have more freedom and choice,” Shin said. “Catastrophic coverage and medical savings accounts were restricted under Obamacare. Their expansion has bipartisan support in Congress, and could be implemented at the state level. As a small business owner, I would like the option of an affordable insurance plan that only covers emergencies, such as a heart attack. Increasing contribution limits on medical savings accounts would give people more control and flexibility over their health care dollars. My patients use them all the time to cover their eye care needs. It’s a win-win for both employers and employees.”
One problem with Medicaid, Shin said, is “fraud, waste and abuse. In March 2017, Attorney General Balderas’s Medicaid fraud unit recovered $6.2 million as a result of investigations into health care providers and others cheating the program. Just this past September, our state pursued Medicaid premiums and copays to cover rising costs. I support such cost-sharing measures, as well as efforts to improve Medicaid recipients’ health and well-being through work and community service requirements.”
Tax reform is another big issue, she said, adding that she is a strong believer in allowing people to keep more of what they earn. Shin supports reforms that broaden the tax base and lower the tax rate to encourage business investment.
“Statewide, New Mexicans are demanding the government’s fiscally responsible, prudent, and efficient use of our hard-earned tax dollars,” Shin said. “We have to simplify the tax code. I support Rep Harper’s proposal to create just one personal income tax bracket and one corporate bracket at 5 percent. His plan last year would have lowered the state rate to 2.7 percent, no longer picking winners and losers.”
Additionally, Shin mentioned the importance of the Los Alamos National Laboratory to the district.
“The economic success of District 43 is directly linked to the long-term success of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which depends on its scientific, engineering, and technology base,” she said. “I keep hearing about problems with recruiting and retaining the best talent. As an optometrist, I’m a bit removed from the situation, of course, but my patients tell me things all the time.”
Shin also touched on her views regarding the uncertainty of the management contract for the Lab, which will greatly influence how much gross receipts tax the County will receive. Shin said if a nonprofit is awarded the contract and Legislature rejects Senate Bill 17, there are other ways to encourage investment in the community and the region. Before 2006, LANL gave millions to schools, created jobs, empowered a skilled workforce, and supported an excellent quality of life, she said.
“We can look at many ways to ensure LANL continues to be a driver for economic growth and opportunity for Northern New Mexico,” Shin said.
Shin said her first “Team 43” party this past Friday was a success. “I was so moved by the support and enthusiasm of volunteers for my campaign. It will always be a party, because we’re going to have fun reaching out to people.”
She said her next Team 43 parties are 7 p.m. Feb. 23 and March 23 at the Chamber of Commerce.
To contact Shin, she can be reached at Lisasfor43@gmail.com and Lisa for 43, PO Box 919, Los Alamos, 87544. Shin can be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/betterwayforNM and Instagram at www.instagram.com/lisafor43. To receive campaign updates via text messages, text TEAM43 to 555888.