Democrats in Carson City delivered impressive accomplishments on a wide range of issues this session – from defeating school vouchers and enacting a slew of women’s rights laws, to boosting clean energy and shining daylight on diabetes drugs. Here’s a sample of what people have been writing and reading lately about the Nevada Legislature:
In case you haven’t heard, Senator Dean Heller supports MASSIVE cuts to Medicaid. In fact, Senator Heller has drug the proverbial tea and has expressed his support for PHASING OUT the Medicaid expansion over the next 7 years.
After weeks of denying, fudging and wriggling, Heller is finally admitting he’s ready to end the Medicaid expansion covering more than 138,000 Nevadans—including children—since Obamacare became law. THAT is unacceptable. Senator Heller was elected to look out for Nevadans, but he’s instead ripping the rug out from those who count on Medicaid.
“I support seven, I support seven,” Heller told reporters on his way into a healthcare working group meeting in the Capitol. “So do a number of us, including [Sen. Rob] Portman [R-Ohio] and others who have been working on this.”
Apparently Heller figures blame won’t fall back on him if they just “slowly” take Medicaid away from over 130,000 Nevadans and millions across the U.S. … over a 7 year time frame. What folks need to understand is, that without Federal “matching funds” which enable States to open up the Medicaid insurance program to those whose incomes are below or just above the poverty line, it will be detrimentally consequential. Thirty-one states chose to expand Medicaid, and, as a result, 11 million to 12 million newly eligible people were finally able to obtain health insurance. If federal matching funds are withdrawn, most states will likely return to the more restrictive eligibility rules for Medicaid eligibility ― effectively wiping out the coverage gains, leaving millions of low-income Americans with worse access to health care and more exposure to crushing medical bills. In other words, it’s the equivalent of legislating a “death panel” where access is denied or expensive procedures/surgeries are denied as funding will not be available and people WILL die.
At a time when the Nevada Legislature is seriously considering a “Medicaid for All” healthcare delivery model that would let Nevadans buy into a “public” delivery system to assure Nevadans can more effectively access healthcare coverage, it appears that Senator Heller has chosen to throw his constituents under the first bus he can find. Even Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican who doesn’t support blocking healthcare coverage access for so many Nevadans, has shared his concern about rolling back the Medicaid expansion.
We can’t let Heller and his spokespeople get away with playing loose with the truth, calling this “fake news,” and blaming it on Democrats. He made the comment and it’s on tape!
We must defeat Senator Heller in 2018. Nevadans can’t afford to lose the Medicaid expansion.
The Environmental Protection Agency today, acting in response to a lawsuit by the Natural Resources Defense Council, reinstated a rule that will protect the public from more than five tons of mercury discharges each year from dental offices across the nation.
The following is a statement by Margaret Hsieh, attorney on the Litigation team at NRDC:
“EPA is taking an important step towards safeguarding Americans from a dangerous neurotoxin. The agency decided to reissue the rule, instead of defending in court the decision to withdraw it. Protecting the public—and not responding to a lawsuit—should have been motivation enough for this sensible action.”
EPA issued the Mercury Effluent Rule on December 15, 2016 and withdrew it after January 20, 2017 in response to a White House memo.
Mercury can disrupt brain function and harm the nervous system. It is especially harmful to pregnant women, babies and young children, even at tiny levels of exposure.
For more information on the mercury rule, please see this blog by NRDC’s Mae Wu.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.