This is a press release submitted to the Las Vegas Sun. It has not been verified or edited by the Sun.
Medical Community United On Medicaid Expansion
Published on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 (1:21 p.m.)(Nov. 15, 2012, Las Vegas) – Hospital representatives, physicians and health care organizations throughout Nevada today urged Gov. Brian Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature to adopt Medicaid expansion and accept federal funds to provide health care for thousands of Nevadans, in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.
The medical organizations and representatives presented a united front during a press conference today organized by the Southern Nevada Medical Industry Coalition.
Nevada has already moved forward with the development of a Health Insurance Exchange (HIE). At issue is the 71,000, primarily childless adult Nevadans who are currently uninsured and who would be covered by the expansion of Medicaid in Nevada. Inclusion of all Nevadans below 138 percent of the poverty level will enable the newly covered, mainly adults under 65 years of age, to receive preventive care, which few currently receive.
A recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health showed that deaths were 6.1 percent less for people aged 20 to 64 in three states that had expanded Medicaid coverage to low-income adults without children or disabilities, compared to neighboring states that had not.
“Fundamentally, expansion of Medicaid will improve the health and quality of life of a significant portion of the population,” said Dr. Ron Kline, President Elect, Southern Nevada Medical Industry Coalition. “If Medicaid expansion is implemented, the health care delivery system’s financial stability will improve and access to care will be preserved for all patients, whether they are covered by commercial insurance, Medicaid or Medicare.”
The Federal Government will cover 100 percent of the cost of the Medicaid expansion from 2014 to 2016, 94 percent from 2017-2019 and 90 percent thereafter. Nevada will be responsible for the cost to administer the program. Administrative expenses should be nominal with Nevada benefitting from the estimated $300 million that will be put back into the economy.
“Nevadans who pay federal taxes will fund Medicaid expansion across the country, whether Nevada participates or not,” Kline said. “If Nevada does not expand Medicaid, taxes Nevadans pay will simply be used to expand Medicaid in other states, rather than staying within our communities to care for those in need and to provide the preventative care that in the long run, reduces health care costs.”
Members of the medical community who participated in today’s press conference included:
Dr. Ron Kline, President Elect, Southern Nevada Medical Industry Coalition
Brian Brannman, CEO of University Medical Center (UMC)
Dr. Florence Jameson, Volunteers in Medicine
Todd Sklamberg, CEO of Sunrise Hospital
Chris Vito, (Rapidly Growing) Small Business Owner
In addition, representatives of the following sponsoring organizations were represented at the press conference and are united in their call for Gov. Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature to expand Medicaid:
Sunrise Health System
Valley Health System
St. Rose Dominican Hospitals (Dignity Health)
University Medical Center (UMC)
Nevada State Medical Association
Nevada Health Care Association
Nevada Osteopathic Medical Association
Clark County Medical Society
American College of Physicians
Health Care Partners
Children’s Advocacy Alliance
Adult Day Care Advisory Council
American Academy of Pediatrics
Children’s Medical Advocacy Coalition
Nevada Medicaid Expansion
• The constitutional issues surrounding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in June.
• The recent re-election of President Obama affirmed that PPACA is here to stay.
• Nevada must now decide whether or not to expand Medicaid Programs.
• Medicaid expansion will provide insurance to 16 million people nationally.
• Approximately 71,000 primarily childless adult Nevadans who are currently uninsured would be covered by the expansion of Medicaid.
• Nevada now has about 313,000 residents receiving Medicaid (60 million nationally)
• Nevada has already moved forward with the development of a Health Insurance Exchange - Silver State Insurance Exchange.
• Nevada will be responsible for the administrative fees associated with Medicaid Expansion. The cost of administration has not yet been determined.
• Nevada is barely recovering from the great Recession and will have challenges balancing the current budget.
Health Care Position:
• Adds Financial Stability - If Medicaid is expanded, the health care delivery system’s financial stability will improve and access to care will be preserved for all Nevadans, whether they are covered by commercial insurance, Medicaid or Medicare.
• Saves Lives - A Harvard School of Public Health study, published by the New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrates Medicaid expansion leads to overall improved health and a reduction in mortality rates (6.1 percent), saving lives.
• Economic Stimulus - Medicaid Expansion will put more than $300 million annually into the Nevada economy.
• Reduced Costs - Newly insured citizens (under Medicaid) will seek preventative treatment earlier, reducing the overall cost of care delivery. The uninsured currently seek treatment at hospitals, where the cost of care delivery is highest. Newly insured will seek earlier (preventative) treatment at clinics where costs are lower.
• Less Cost Shifting - Expenses associated with caring for the uninsured exist are being cost shifted to the commercial payers (business community). Medicaid expansion will reduce the financial burden already strapped to those insured.
• Nevadans Will Pay Regardless – We all pay federal taxes which cover Medicaid. Without expansion, Nevadans will still pay taxes to cover the uninsured in other states.
• 100 percent of the cost of the Medicaid expansion from 2014 to 2016.
• From 2017-2019, the Federal Government will cover 95 percent of expenses and 90 percent thereafter.