MAJORITY LEADER FORD, SPEAKER FRIERSON REQUEST ANSWERS FROM SENATOR HELLER ON ACA REPEAL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 10, 2017

 

MAJORITY LEADER FORD, SPEAKER FRIERSON REQUEST ANSWERS FROM SENATOR HELLER ON ACA REPEAL

 

LAS VEGAS - Today, Nevada state Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford and Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson sent the attached letter to Senator Dean Heller outlining their concerns with Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

 

Specifically, they outlined questions they hope Senator Heller will answer with regards to how a repeal of the Affordable Care Act will affect hundreds of thousands of Nevadans who now have health care thanks to the law. 

 

According to recent reporting by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, nearly 400,000 Nevadans could lose their health care if the Affordable Care Act is repealed without passing adequate replacement legislation. 

 

Senator_Heller_letter.pdf

 

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January 10, 2017

Dear Senator Heller:

We are writing to express our concern regarding plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, we are concerned that Republicans in Congress are pushing ahead with a repeal of the Affordable Care Act despite having no viable replacement legislation ready to enact. 

Failure to immediately enact replacement legislation risks creating uncertainty in the insurance marketplace. Such uncertainty will likely result in higher out-of-pocket costs and fewer insurance options for Nevada’s families while simultaneously placing an increased burden on our state budget. 

As you are aware, Governor Sandoval worked closely with the Legislature and ultimately signed legislation creating the Silver State Health Exchange in 2011. Subsequently, more than 300,000 Nevadans have gained access to health care coverage, either by purchasing it on the exchange or by meeting the expanded Medicaid eligibility requirements.  

In light of these facts, we hope that you will address the following questions regarding the planned repeal of the Affordable Care Act:

 

1. What steps do you plan to take to ensure that the more than 88,000 Nevadans who have purchased health insurance through the Silver State Health Exchange continue to have the ability to purchase health insurance with adequate coverage on a transparent marketplace?

 

2. What steps do you plan to take to ensure that the more than 77,000 Nevadans who are eligible for federal tax credits under the Affordable Care Act to help purchase private insurance will continue to have access to affordable health insurance options with adequate coverage?

 

3. What steps do you plan to take to ensure that the 217,000 Nevadans who are receiving health care under the Medicaid expansion remain covered?

 

4. The Affordable Care Act guarantees coverage vital to preventative services for women, including cancer screenings and birth control. What steps do you plan to take to ensure that the Affordable Care Act’s coverage guarantees remain intact for women’s health?

 

5. The Affordable Care Act guarantees that Nevadans with pre-existing conditions will not be denied care and ends lifetime minimums on coverage.  It also allows younger people, many of whom are saddled with college debt and cannot afford insurance, to stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26. What steps do you plant to take to preserve those coverage guarantees?

The lack of clarity regarding viable alternatives to the Affordable Care Act from the incoming administration and Republican congressional leadership is troubling. While Congress has expended considerable time and energy over the past several years talking about the law, hundreds of thousands of Nevadans have relied in good-faith on the Affordable Care Act to obtain health insurance. Repealing the law without implementing an adequate replacement will put those Nevadans’ health and well-being at risk. 

Further, any congressional action that creates a large gap in insurance coverage will likely result in more Nevadans relying on state-funded social service programs. Most of these programs are already underresourced. Nevada cannot afford to shoulder this new financial burden created by politicians in Washington failing to live up to guarantees that the federal government previously made to our citizens. 

We hope you will use your position as Nevada’s senior United States Senator and a member of the majority party to protect the thousands of Nevada families who are now at risk of losing their health insurance. We also hope you will take steps to ensure that our state does not bear any unfair and unnecessary costs of caring for people who stand to lose that coverage in the near future.

We look forward to your prompt reply. 

Sincerely,

Aaron D. Ford         Jason Frierson

Majority Leader Speaker

Nevada State Senate Nevada State Assembly 

 

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