ICYMI: State Government Option ‘A Bad Idea’

CARSON CITY, Nev. – As Nevada lawmakers consider legislation to create a new state government-controlled health insurance system known as the state government option, respected economic leaders throughout the Silver State are expressing serious concerns about the unaffordable costs and other potential negative consequences.
In an op-ed published by the Reno Gazette-Journal, Randi Thompson, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business and Ann Silver, CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce, urge Nevada lawmakers to “build on the strength, stability and success of employer-provided coverage … without passing a state-mandated option that will raise all premiums and increase the cost of coverage.”
They write: 

Today, its more critical than ever for Americans to have greater control over how they meet their health care needs. In that light, it’s important to remember that employer-provided health insurance coverage delivers affordable access to care, effective ways to improve health, and financial security for millions of Americans every day.

Right now, the Legislature is considering Senate Bill 420 that would create a public option for health insurance. Such a plan would increase the cost of insurance for over 1.5 million hardworking Nevadans and create a new government-run option that only a few thousand Nevadans would be eligible to join.  

Both of our associations have worked to provide comprehensive health plans for our members, as so many small businesses want to offer health care coverage for their employees. This has proven to be a game-changer for small employers who need  quality health insurance programs at a competitive and stable price.

Many struggling businesses continued to provide health care to the employees who were temporarily laid off during the pandemic, as they knew the importance of keeping their staff healthy during such a trying time.

From prevention and wellness to treating chronic conditions and improving individual health, health insurance providers are working with employers and employees to make sure patients receive the care they need when they need it. This coverage empowers employees to improve their health while also protecting their financial security

Through access to strong provider networks, comprehensive coverage and quality services at an affordable cost, employer-provided coverage helps give employees and their families the peace of mind they deserve. As policymakers consider the future of the health insurance market, let’s build on the strength, stability and success of employer-provided coverage. 

Providing coverage through work is one of the most efficient means we have of enrolling individuals and families in affordable coverage. And because employers have a vested interest in the health and financial security of their employees, employer–provided coverage continues to be a bedrock of our entire health care system.

The Legislature should take action to improve access to health care for all Nevadans without passing a state-mandated option that will raise all premiums and increase the cost of coverage.

To read Thompson and Silver’s full op-ed in the Reno Gazette-JournalCLICK HERE.
To learn more about Nevada’s Health Care Future, CLICK HERE.