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Sandoval signs governors’ letter opposing Heller Obamacare repeal

CARSON CITY — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has joined with nine other governors in asking the U.S. Senate leadership to reject the latest proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act.

In a letter dated Tuesday Sandoval and his colleagues from states including Colorado Democrat John Hickenlooper, Ohio Republican John Kasich and Alaska Independent Bill Walker, asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Shumer, “not to consider the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson amendment” now in the Senate.

In a statement issued later in the day, Sandoval said: “I know that Senator (Dean) Heller is working in the best interest of the state and I appreciate the intended flexibility created in the Graham-Cassidy-Heller amendment which would distribute healthcare funding via block grants.”

Sandoval said state experts will continue to work with federal partners, specifically with Heller’s office, on ideas to improve Nevada’s health care market.

But he reiterated that the framework authored by bipartisan governors is the best path to improve the healthcare system.

In the letter from the group of governors — which includes four Republicans, four Democrats and an Independent — they asked the Senate leaders to “renew support for bipartisan efforts to make health care more available and affordable for all Americans. Only open, bipartisan approaches can achieve true, lasting reforms.”

“We ask you to support bipartisan efforts to bring stability and affordability to our insurance markets,” the letter says.

Any legislation should receive consideration under regular order, including hearings in health committees and input from the appropriate health-related parties, the governors said.

“Improvements to our health insurance markets should control costs, stabilize the market, and positively impact coverage and care of millions of Americans, including many who are dealing with mental illness, chronic health problems, and drug addiction,” the letter says.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

Governors Letter Regarding Graham-Cassidy Bill by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Scribd

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