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July 22, 2017

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Cortez Masto highlights dangers of Obamacare repeal

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Yvonne Gonzalez

U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., discusses the dangers of repealing the Affordable Care Act on Friday, July 7, 2017, at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.

Opponents of Obamacare repeal and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., spoke out today against a GOP-backed Senate health care bill.

An estimated 328,000 Nevada residents would lose coverage under a GOP bill, according to a report released today by advocacy group Nevadans Together for Medicaid and compiled by the nonprofit research group Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy. The institute is within the UNLV School of Community Health Sciences.

Cortez Masto said that she has not discussed the bill with Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who recently joined Gov. Brian Sandoval in speaking out against the measure. She said that she’s heard leadership wants to bring the bill to a floor vote in a couple of weeks.

“It is far from what Republicans claim as ‘better care,’ because there is not a single provision in this bill that will result in ‘better care’ or lower costs for anyone in Nevada,” Cortez Masto said. “It does nothing to help women, seniors and children, and threatens to end Medicaid, a program that has helped low-income Americans gain access to quality, affordable care.”

Cortez Masto spoke from University Medical Center in Las Vegas, joined by other opponents of ACA repeal.

“Because of the Affordable Care Act, UMC has been able to provide more services for people and their health care needs, has been able to hire more doctors, more nurses,” she said.

Cortez Masto said the current law isn’t perfect and needs improvement. She said uncertainty pushed health insurers out of the state exchange in almost all of Nevada’s rural counties, and she is co-sponsoring the Marketplace Certainty Act in an effort to stabilize the turbulent industry.

The research institute’s report notes that more than 1.1 million Nevada residents have a preexisting condition, and Cortez Masto says they no longer have to worry about being denied coverage due to those types of medical issues.

“Our uninsured rates have dropped, and we have experienced the largest decline in the rate of uninsured kids in the country,” Cortez Masto says.

Medicaid recipient Jenny Stiles said insurers told her family that the medical conditions with which she was born made her ineligible for coverage.

“Without Medicaid, I would be dead and my parents would be on the streets,” she said.

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