Social Justice

“We Are Almost There”: Cortez Masto and Health Care Advocates Speak Out in Advance of Senate Trumpcare Vote

On a call with local press today, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and a group of Nevada health care advocates vowed to do everything possible to defeat Trumpcare once and for all. They spoke just hours before the U.S. Senate is scheduled to cast its first vote on Trumpcare.

“The Republicans know their constituents don’t want Trumpcare, which is why we’re this close to stopping it.”
– Senator Catherine Cortez Masto

As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to say which version of Trumpcare he will try to advance, Cortez Masto said she finds all of them unacceptable. “Republicans have introduced several versions of Trumpcare, yet all of them are the same.”

Cortez Masto and allies cited recent polling and multiple studies detailing how much Nevada stands to lose if Trumpcare passes. According to an Urban Institute report released in June, Nevada will either have to cut about 203,000 Nevadans off Medicaid or pony up $4.1 billion in the next ten years to maintain the same level of coverage for Nevadans who’ve benefited from the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.

“If the poor suffer, we all lose.”
– Bishop Dan Edwards, Nevadans for the Common Good

Dan Edwards is a local Episcopal Bishop who’s also involved with Nevadans for the Common Good. He called on Congress to remember the human toll of the legislation they’re considering, particularly when it comes to Trumpcare’s proposed Medicaid cuts. “Cutting 203,000 Nevadans off Medicaid is neither loving nor just.”

“What will happen to these people? Some will suffer. Some will die. […] This is morally unacceptable.”

“Health care is a right, and it’s an innate need.”
– Denise Ogletree, American Nurses Association

Two health care professionals also chimed in with their disapproval. The American Nurses Association’s Denise Ogletree specifically addressed the risk Trumpcare poses to rural communities. “Already, we are compromised in those rural communities because we don’t have enough providers.” Ogletree explained how Medicaid cuts would lead to fewer health care providers in rural communities.

Nevada Hospital Association President and CEO Bill Welch stressed the importance of Medicaid to the entire state. Welch explained how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has resulted in fewer uninsured Nevadans, which in turn has led to less crowded emergency rooms and more people accessing preventive care. “As we move the uninsured population to Medicaid, we improve access to care.”

What’s with tomorrow’s vote?

Not even President Donald Trump himself knows which version of Trumpcare (if any) the Senate will vote on. Senate Republican leaders may advance their own Trumpcare bill, the House Trumpcare bill to amend more to their liking, or a bill to repeal major chunks of the ACA with no timely replacement.

Despite Trump’s insistence on a Senate vote tomorrow, Republican leaders can’t guarantee they even have the votes to open debate. Closer to home, Senator Dean Heller (R) still won’t say which way he will vote tomorrow… Despite expressing opposition to the Senate Trumpcare bill alongside Governor Brian Sandoval (R) just over a month ago.

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