SEIU members and local progressive activists visited University Medical Center (UMC) in Las Vegas today to urge U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R) to vote against striking down the very health care programs that keep this hospital afloat and provide needed care for 400,000 plus Nevadans.

UMC provided quite the backdrop for today’s protest against the Better Care Reconciliation Act, Senate Republicans’ version of Trumpcare. The once beleaguered hospital has turned the corner and turned a profit… Largely thanks to the very programs Trumpcare would strike down if passed.

Why are these health care advocates so upset over Trumpcare?

Nevada for Healthcare-Now! activist Amy Vilela lost her daughter, Shalynne Ramos, due to Centennial Hills Hospital denying needed care. Vilela fears more Nevadans could face similar tragedies if Trumpcare becomes law, resulting in severe cuts to Medicaid and rollback in insurance coverage rules.
Vilela recounted what happened to Shalynne, then shared with us why she wants Senator Dean Heller to reject Trumpcare.

“This is a life or death issue. People are dying due to lack of coverage.”
– Amy Vilela

We're talking with Amy Vilela on upcoming Senate vote on #AHCA #Trumpcare

Posted by Nevada Forward on Thursday, June 22, 2017


Photo by Andrew Davey

Retired registered nurse Teresa Crawford also came to UMC. She was advocating for universal health care even before the Affordable Care Act became law. As a former nurse who saw Nevada’s health care struggles first-hand, she stressed the importance of Medicaid expansion to UMC’s future… And the future of the overall health care system in the Silver State.

#healthcare activist Teresa Crawford on #AHCA #Trumpcare and Senator Dean Heller's vote

Posted by Nevada Forward on Thursday, June 22, 2017

UMC registered nurse Michael Collins took issue with Senator Heller signaling he could support the bill earlier this month, even with elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion that Governor Brian Sandoval (R) wants to keep. “Senator Heller has signaled he supports the repeal of Medicaid [expansion]. As a nurse, this saddens and sickens me. […] If Medicaid goes away, people with chronic conditions like diabetes and heart problems will have no options.”
Senator Heller has yet to announce a firm position on the Senate Trumpcare bill. Regardless, as many as six of Heller’s fellow Senate Republicans are considering voting against the bill if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) calls for a floor vote next week.
In the coming days, we will share more stories from across the state on the state of health care in Nevada and how Trumpcare could change it. Watch this space.