This opinion column was submitted by Dean Heller, a Republican candidate for governor. His campaign website is deanheller.com.
A secretive vote in the dead of night, out of the view of the public, impacting access to health care for tens of thousands of Nevadans and imposing crippling regulations on hundreds of doctors and health care providers, sounds like a tale from some corrupt third world banana republic. But it happened right here in Nevada.
That’s how Nevada’s version of the so-called public option, a government-run health care plan paid for by your tax dollars, made its way to Governor Steve Sisolak. Sisolak signed it into law, despite the fierce objections of doctors, nurses and other care providers who were on the front lines fighting the worst pandemic in more than a century.
The bill was championed by a host of far-left activist groups.
In other words, socialist Democrat politicians and their allies went into hiding to enact a bill that impacts the health care coverage that so many Nevada families depend on. Steve Sisolak turned his back on the health care heroes who were working themselves to exhaustion to fight the pandemic and who fought to oppose this bill.
What Senate Bill 420, as it is formally known, does is force insurers who are bidding to provide health care coverage under Medicaid to also provide a public option, with the state ultimately deciding how many plans are available to the people of Nevada. In reality, the bill takes health care choices away from patients and their doctors and into the hands of state bureaucrats under the stated goal of making health care more accessible to more people. Lofty intentions or not, the bill was rushed through without proper debate or understanding of its consequences and approved by a secret, midnight vote.
It’s a reliable pattern with Democrats.
I know better than most how deeply passions run on the issue of health care. As your United States senator, in the face of intense opposition from members of both parties, I led the fight to craft legislation with President Donald Trump to repeal Obamacare and protect Nevada’s seniors and veterans at the same time. This was vitally important because Nevada’s then-governor enrolled the state into the program and its demise would have resulted in thousands of Nevada’s seniors being left without health care coverage and our state in nearly half a billion dollars in debt. Obamacare is a terrible piece of legislation which I voted against, and it was disappointing that Nevada had become a victim of its trap and when a more responsible and effective alternative was available, I took action to support it.
The point is this: Health care in Nevada is too important to be left to liberal special interests and left-wing legislators who like to govern under the cloak of secrecy. Nevada’s next governor must understand the consequences of misguided and harmful programs like these, and I am the only candidate that has experienced this firsthand. A responsive and first-rate health care system requires leaders to put patients first.
It’s time to restore trust to a system that means so much to so many. As governor, I will use my executive power to stop Nevada from becoming a second-rate socialist health system under the public option.
Dean Heller is a Republican candidate for governor. His campaign website is deanheller.com.
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