Skip to main content

Dean Heller Lies About His Health Repeal Crusade During Senate Debate

By October 20, 2018No Comments

…As New PPP-Protect Our Care Poll Shows Nevada Voters Oppose Heller’s Attacks On Health Care, and Support Rosen Instead

Washington DC – At the Senate debate in Las Vegas, Senator Dean Heller continued to run from his record of supporting massive tax cuts for large corporations and authoring repeal legislation to strip millions of Nevadans of their health care. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement in response:

“What’s one thing that happened in Vegas and should stay there? Dean Heller, and his lies last night about health care. Let’s be clear, Dean Heller’s bill would have turned back the clock on pre-existing conditions protections. It would bring back what the AARP calls ‘the age tax’ for people over 50 and it would allow discrimination against women by insurance companies. What’s worse, he promised to give health repeal another go after the midterms. Dean Heller’s re-election campaign is all about getting another chance to strip health care away from millions of Americans and give wealthy corporations another massive tax cut. It’s no wonder more and more Nevadans are saying ‘no way.’”

What Heller Said:

“I wrote the bill, the repeal and replacement bill for Republicans that specifically added pre-existing conditions because that is how I feel about it.” [C-SPAN, 10/19/18]

The Truthl: Heller Authored Repeal Legislation That Would Have Jacked Up Premiums, Gutted Medicaid And Eliminated Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions

Graham-Cassidy-Heller Would Raise Costs For People With Pre-Existing Conditions. Graham-Cassidy-Heller would allow states to let insurance companies once again charge people with pre-existing conditions more, which could raise costs for up to 1,215,300 Nevadans that have a pre-existing condition. For example, an individual with asthma would face a premium surcharge of $4,340. The surcharge for pregnancy would be $17,320, while it would be $142,650 more for patients with metastatic cancer.

242,000 Nevadans Could See Lifetime And Annual Limits Again. Allowing states to opt out of the Essential Health Benefits coverage means that insurance companies could once again put lifetime and annual limits on the amount of care you receive, even impacting people with coverage from their employer. Up to 242,000 Nevadans with employer-sponsored coverage would lose these protections.

Graham-Cassidy-Heller Could Lead to An Age Tax, Meaning 60 Year Old Nevadans Could Pay Up To $16,458 More. The Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill would allow states to let insurers charge people over 50 high premiums without limits. The AARP said, “The Graham/Cassidy/Heller/Johnson bill would result in an age tax for older Americans who would see their health care costs increase under this bill.” AARP estimates that 60-year-old Nevadans could pay as much as a $16,458 more in higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs in 2020.

Millions of Women Could Face Higher Costs or Lose Access to Care. Graham-Cassidy-Heller would end Medicaid expansion, which has allowed 3.9 million women to gain access to care. It would end provisions that helped lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs for 9 million women. Graham-Cassidy-Heller slashes Medicaid, on which one in five women of reproductive age rely. The bill would defund Planned Parenthood and would allow states to let insurers forgo maternity coverage.

Analysts Agree: Every State Loses Under Graham-Cassidy-Heller Affecting People’s Care. Multiple independent analyses agree that the Graham-Cassidy-Heller repeal bill would cut federal funding to states. Over time, every state loses because Graham-Cassidy-Heller zeroes out its block grants and ratchets down its spending on the Medicaid per capita cap. This means people would not have access to the financial assistance to help lower their health care bills, and federal Medicaid funding would no longer adjust for public health emergencies, prescription drug or other cost spikes, or other unexpected increases in need.

  • Avalere: $4 Trillion Cut To States Over Next Two Decades, Including $39 Billion Cut To Nevadans. Independent analysts at Avalere estimated that states collectively would lose $215 billion from 2020 to 2026 from the plans block grants and Medicaid cap, another $283 billion in 2027 when the block grant funding disappears altogether and $4 trillion over the next two decades. Nevada would see a $2 billion reduction from 2020 to 2026, another $5 billion reduction in 2027 and a $39 billion cut over two decades.

200,583 Nevadans Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion At Risk. The Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill would eliminate Medicaid expansion, which has helped 200,583 Nevadans receive quality, affordable coverage, and put part of its funding into inadequate block grants. The bill would further punish states that expanded Medicaid by redistributing funds to states that did not expand Medicaid.

Premiums Will Increase 20 Percent in the First Year. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Graham-Cassidy-Heller includes provisions that would raise premiums up to 20 percent in the first year.

63,968 Nevadans Who Receive Marketplace Tax Credits Could Pay More. Because the Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill eliminates block grant funding in 2027 with no guarantee of any other funding to take its place, that means there would be no funding Marketplace tax credits that help people pay for their premiums, which currently benefits 63,968 Nevadans.