Heller on hot seat over GOP health care bill

Sen. Dean Heller doesn’t want to pull the rug out too fast from under Nevadans who rely on Medicaid for health insurance. But he still wants to pull the rug out. We’re talking about 81,000 Nevadans losing Medicaid. The Congressional Budget Office also says about 138,000 Nevadans total will lose insurance.

And what about people with pre-existing conditions? The Republican plan is to have them thrown into the cold water of high-risk pools. The president of the American Medical Association says these people “will be stuck in second-class health coverage” if they can get coverage at all. The American Hospital Association and a whole bunch of other medical groups also oppose this bill.

Republicans are trying to fulfill a campaign promise, but they also seem to be trying to find $600 billion to hand out in tax cuts to the wealthiest while cutting $834 billion from Medicaid, a lifeline for 33 million children, 10 million disabled and 6 million seniors.

Obamacare was getting stronger but is being sabotaged by the new administration through directions to stop enforcing the mandate, and threats to discontinue the cost-sharing reductions relied on by low-income individuals and insurance companies. This is why insurers are pulling out of markets.

Republicans need to come out of hiding and work with their colleagues on this important issue — for our literal health and the health of the body politic.

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