Heller Authored Repeal Legislation That Would Have Jacked Up Premiums, Gutted Medicaid And Eliminated Protections For 1.2 Million Nevadans With Pre-Existing Conditions

Washington, DCTonight, President Trump will campaign for Dean Heller, lead sponsor on the failed Senate repeal bill who has worked for years to strip protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions and recently pledged to work again this fall to repeal our health care. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, said in response:

“At a time when Dean Heller should be listening to Nevadans who are demanding that Republicans stop their attacks on health care, he is instead standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Repealer-in-Chief. It’s unbelievable. Time and again, Nevadans have made it crystal clear that they do not want their health care ripped away — yet time and again, Dean Heller has stood with Trump and other Republicans who would do precisely that. Make no mistake, Dean Heller presents a real and present danger to the health care of Nevadans and people need look no further than his own words and actions for proof.   

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND:

Senator Dean Heller has pledged to repeal Obamacare if Republicans wins Senate seats. If he succeeds, this could have devastating effects on hundreds of thousands Nevadans.

  • “Dean Heller Pledges To Repeal Obamacare If Gop Wins More Senate Seats.”Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said he believes his party will pick up more Senate seats during the 2018 midterm elections, which would help the party fulfill its long-held promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, according to an audio recording obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.  ‘I think at the end of the day we end up with 53, 54 seats. If we can do that, then we can repeal and replace and change the ACA as we know it today,’ he said, referring to the Affordable Care Act, the formal name for Obamacare.” [Washington Examiner, 4/5/18]

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

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.

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.

Dean Heller’s Repeal-and-Sabotage Votes:

2010: Heller Voted Against Passage Of The ACA. As a member of the House, Heller voted against initial passage of the Affordable Care Act.   [HR 3590, Roll Call Vote #165, 3/21/10]

2015: Heller Voted To Repeal Most Of The ACA.  Heller voted for legislation that gutted the Affordable Care Act by eliminating the insurance exchanges and subsidies, and repealing the Medicaid expansion accepted by 30 states, including Nevada.  [HR 3762, Roll Call Vote #114, 12/3/15]

2017: Heller Voted For “Skinny Repeal” Of The ACA. Dean Heller voted for “Skinny Repeal” of the ACA, which repealed the individual mandate and delayed the employer mandate while leaving most of the rest of the law in place.  [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #179, 7/28/17]

According To  CBO, Skinny Repeal Would Have Resulted In The Largest Coverage Loss in American History:

    • At minimum, 15 million Americans would lose coverage in 2018.  This would have been the biggest one-year increase in our nation’s history.
    • Premiums would go up by roughly 20 percent.

2017: Heller Voted for the Republican Tax Bill That Hurts Nevadans Health and Gives Tax Breaks to Giant Insurance Companies and Drug Companies

  • Tax Bill Means Higher Costs, Especially for Older Nevadans. One estimate shows in Nevada alone, family premiums in the marketplace will increase on average by $1,730 in 2019. The AARP estimates a 64-year-old Nevadan will have to pay $1,286 more in premiums because of health repeal, essentially an age tax for people over 50.
  • Tax Bill Hurts Rural Nevadans Health Care. An LA Times analysis found that the health repeal provision in the Senate Republican tax scheme would “derail insurance markets in conservative, rural swaths of the country…That could leave consumers in these regions — including most or all of Alaska, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming, as well as parts of many other states — with either no options for coverage or health plans that are prohibitively expensive.”
  • 112,000 Nevadans Could Lose Coverage. As a result of the tax bill, an estimated 112,000 Nevadans will lose coverage by 2025.