Obama campaign says 638,000 Nevadans helped by health care law


President Barack Obama's re-election campaign put out a report Tuesday saying 638,000 Nevadans were helped in 2011 by the health care law he signed two years ago Friday. That's nearly one-quarter of the Silver State's population.

The number includes Nevada residents who have received preventive health care with no out-of-pocket costs. The Affordable Care Act prohibits private insurance companies from charging a co-pay or a deductible for such things as mammograms, colon cancer screening, flu shots, contraception and regular preventive doctor visits for babies and children.

"From making insurance companies play by the rules, to strengthening Medicare for seniors and ensuring that women today can get life-saving mammograms at no extra cost, American families are seeing how reform is saving lives and saving money," Obama for America said in releasing the report.

"Yet Republicans on the campaign trail and in Washington, D.C., are pledging to repeal the law and undo the progress that has been made for Nevadans in the last two years."

The Obama campaign broke the numbers down like this: Last year, 477,000 Nevadans -- 171,000 women, 173,000 men and 133,000 children -- have seen their coverage for prevention expanded. Also in 2011, 161,000 Nevada seniors got a free preventive service in Medicare.

The Obama campaign, Democrats and their allies are spending this week promoting the benefits of the law ahead of its two-year anniversary Friday.

The Republican Party and its allies are pushing back all week, too, noting the cost of health care continues to rise despite Obama's promises that the law would reduce such bills.

Last year, the average cost of a family's health care premium increased 9 percent, according to a Kaiser study circulated by the Republican National Committee. The RNC also circulated a nonpartisan FactCheck.org piece that concluded, "The law falls short of making health care 'affordable and available to every single American' as promised."

"Gone is the very rationale for the unpopular law," RNC communications director Sean Spicer said in a memo over the weekend. "So, heading into re-election, Obama has precious little ground on which to defend his takeover of health care."