I found it ironic that Stephen T. Parente’s commentary on the “failed” implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Nevada was published the same week that it was reported that a record number of Nevadans had enrolled in health insurance through Nevada Health Link (“Future appears bleak for Nevadans, nation,” Jan. 1 Review-Journal). Mr. Parente seems to have made a cottage industry of anointing the implementation of the ACA a failure nationwide.
A quick Internet search shows that he submitted the same op-ed as printed to media in multiple states, perhaps not surprisingly finding the future identically bleak in Georgia, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, the Carolinas and more. A cynical observer might conclude that there is an underlying agenda in Mr. Parente’s “the sky is falling” bluster, especially as nonpartisan foundations that sponsor independent research on health care issues — such as the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund — have published studies which contradict Mr. Parente’s “analysis.”
Fact, not opinion, must be the standard for determining the success or failure of the implementation of the ACA in Nevada. While there is more work to do, it is an undisputed fact that hundreds of thousands of previously uninsured Nevadans — many of them children — now have coverage and access to health care, and more are signing up every day. That’s how the law is playing out in our state; clearly better than some with an agenda are willing to admit.
— The writer is executive director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange.
Rooftop solar benefits
Richard Rychtarik’s letter misses some important facts (“Solar must compete,” Tuesday Review-Journal). The recent Climate Change Conference in Paris called for immediate actions to begin to heal the atmosphere. Congress supported this by extending the 30 percent tax break for several years to encourage the installation of rooftop solar.
Rooftop solar does not foul the atmosphere like coal and natural gas. Thus, when the sun shines, rooftop solar can replace them, hence saving coal and natural gas. After all, neither is everlasting like solar is.
Excess rooftop solar energy is given to NV Energy via two-way meters and is sold at full price to a nearby neighbor, where very little distribution is required. NV Energy has agreed to purchase all the solar energy that the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project near Tonopah produces, for 13.5 cents per Kilowatt hour. Why shouldn’t NV Energy pay Las Vegas rooftop solar owners the same amount, since distribution costs will be saved?
NV Energy was paying rooftop solar owners 11 cents per kwh, thus making 2.5 cents on the comparable Crescent Dunes deal. The money saved from those distribution costs would benefit all customers. Not all roofs are appropriate for solar panels and consequently not all citizens can have them. But all citizens profit from the better environment that rooftop solar provides, as well as the good deal NV Energy gets from the excess energy.
UNLV men’s basketball coach Dave Rice was finally dismissed (“Rice fired as Rebel coach,” Monday Review-Journal). What took UNLV Athletic Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy so long to realize Mr. Rice just didn’t have it? Maybe she too should be fired, especially if UNLV President Len Jessup expects to bring back the Jerry Tarkanian glory days.
Even at the end, neither Mr. Rice nor UNLV could be honest enough to tell the truth, with both saying it was a “mutually agreed” resignation. Losing is one thing, but lying is reprehensible. Further, Mr. Rice had the temerity to say, “I’m proud of what we accomplished.” This is one of the most disingenuous spins on being a losing coach that I’ve ever heard. Review-Journal sports columnists Ed Graney and Ron Kantowski tell it like it is: Mr. Rice was fired.
I predict the interim coach, Todd Simon, will do no better than Mr. Rice. UNLV, its fans and its donors are in denial. This is not 1990. Jerry Tarkanian is gone. UNLV basketball’s glory days are over.