ICYMI: Key Stakeholders Call On Nevada Lawmakers To Veto Public Option Legislation
CARSON CITY, Nev. – As some Nevada lawmakers push for the creation of an unaffordable, new state government-controlled health insurance system known as the state government option, four local chambers of commerce representing the state’s largest employers—the Vegas, Reno + Sparks, Henderson, and Latin chambers—and three of the state’s leading health care industry representatives—the Nevada Hospital Association, Nevada State Medical Association, and Nevada Association of Health Plans—sent a letter to Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak calling on him to veto Senate Bill 420, which would create a state government option in Nevada.
In the letter, the organizations state:
Senate Bill 420 does nothing to increase the number of providers in urban or rural Nevada, potentially making it more difficult for individuals to receive medical care and will ultimately result in an increase in premiums in urban areas.
Ultimately, at its core, SB420 does nothing different than Medicaid and the Health Exchange currently do, but add costs, increase burdens, and damage both the health insurance market and health care provider network. The public option provisions of the bill are neither a solution nor a benefit to Nevadans.
They urge Gov. Sisolak to consider other, real ways to improve access to and coverage for health care, writing:
Instead of disrupting the marketplace that is already providing healthcare options on the Nevada Health Link, we should be focused on enrolling more Nevadans into Medicaid and into the existing individual products on the exchange. Expanding eligibility and increasing provider reimbursement rates will add more covered lives and incentivize the expansion of health care. Establishment of a separate risk pool for high-risk patients will also add more options for coverage and treatment.
Furthermore, the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) significantly expanded subsidies to increase access to and affordability of health insurance. The enhanced subsidies (now for households above the 400% of the federal poverty line) for exchange plans are likely to continue and should be allowed to work in the marketplace.
Concurrently, Nevada Business reports that the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) “provides Nevadans with a Special Enrollment Period where insured and uninsured Nevadans can take advantage of new, drastically reduced insurance premiums.”
A recent analysis by the Brookings Institution also highlights the significant resources now available for Nevadans to obtain affordable health coverage under ARPA and concludes that elected leaders in Carson City should take “caution against making lasting changes” to the state’s health care policies “until matters are clearer.”