Rep. Dina Titus supports House health insurance reform bill


Rep. Dina Titus said she will support a health insurance reform proposed in the House, making it three of five members of Nevada’s congressional delegation supportive of reform bills.

House Resolution 3962 “takes important steps to make health insurance more affordable and accessible,” the Nevada Democrat said in a statement about her decision.

In July, Titus voted against a version of reform presented to the House Education and Labor Committee, in part because a surtax would have been applied to individuals making $280,000 or more and families making $350,000 or more, to pay for it.

The latest version of the health insurance reform bill would increase those thresholds to $500,000 and $1 million, respectively.

“For more than six months I have discussed the need for health care reform with my constituents, and time and again I have heard from small-business owners who are struggling to afford health care coverage,” Titus said in her statement.

“With a large number of small businesses in my suburban Southern Nevada district, it is critical that we do everything we can to strengthen their hand so they can be critical engines of growth in our community.”

Titus joins Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., and U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., among Nevada elected officials in favor of proposed health care reform legislation.

“I can’t stand here today and tell you that this legislation will solve every health care problem we face as a nation, but I can tell you this, that 460,000 Nevadans ... have no health insurance at all,” Berkley said Tuesday.

“In my district alone, this bill will provide coverage for 163,000 of my fellow Nevadans. It’s not just the uninsured that will benefit. In Las Vegas, more than 200,000 households will receive credits to make insurance more affordable and over 16,000 small businesses will be provided with a tax credit to make it easier for them to provide coverage to their employees.”

Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., whose district is mostly in the northern part of the state, and Sen. John Ensign, a Republican, have been highly critical of reform proposals.

As a whole, Nevadans have mixed feelings about health reform proposals in Congress.

Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, said his most recent survey says 49 percent of voters statewide oppose reforms proposed by President Barack Obama and 43 percent are in favor.

Coker said he doesn’t have figures broken down by congressional district, but that Berkley’s district is reliably Democratic and thus more likely to support reforms proposed.

Heller’s district tilts Republican, and Titus’ is the most evenly split among the three. 

“That could be a risky vote,” he said of Titus’ decision to support the initiative.

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861.

 

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