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Senator Heller’s Health Care Repeal Crusade Reveals Stunning Hypocrisy & Litany of Broken Promises

  1. Instead of working with Nevada’s Governor to improve health care, Senator Heller is sponsoring a repeal bill that the state’s Republican Governor Brian Sandoval now publicly opposes.
  2. Instead of defending Medicaid, Senator Heller is sponsoring a repeal bill that would gut Medicaid.
  3. Instead of opposing legislation that takes away health insurance from millions of Americans, Senator Heller is sponsoring a repeal bill that would lead to massive coverage losses.
  4. Instead of trying to preserve coverage for those with pre-existing health conditions, Senator Heller is sponsoring a repeal bill that would let states eliminate core protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  5. Instead of protecting Planned Parenthood, Senator Heller is sponsoring a repeal bill to defund Planned Parenthood.

Take a closer look at each of Senator Heller’s broken promises on health care:

PROMISE #1: SENATOR HELLER PROMISED TO WORK WITH GOVERNOR SANDOVAL ON HEALTH CARE

Heller Said That On Health Care, “I’m Doing What I Said I Would Do, Which Is Work With The Governor Of Our State.” “Heller also disputed Wednesday that he has flip-flopped on protecting Medicaid since opposing a similar block grant proposal in June, saying: ‘I’m doing what I said I would do, which is work with the governor of our state.’” [Talking Points Memo, 9/13/17]

BROKEN: GOVERNOR SANDOVAL OPPOSES HELLER’S REPEAL BILL

Sandoval Joined Bipartisan Governors Letter Urging Senate Leaders Not To Consider The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Amendment. “Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer: As you continue to consider changes to the American health care system, we ask you not to consider the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson amendment and renew support for bipartisan efforts to make health care more available and affordable for all Americans.” [Letter, 9/19/17]

Jon Ralston: Sandoval Decided He Had To Speak Up Because Heller’s Bill Is Manifestly So Bad For Nevada. “@RalstonReports: Sandoval was in tough spot. He and Heller are friendly. But decided he had to speak up because Heller’s bill is manifestly so bad for NV.” [Twitter, @RalstonReports, 9/19/17]

Sandoval Said Report Showing Nevada Could Lose More Than $250 Million In Federal Funding Through Graham-Cassidy-Heller Concerned Him: “That’s A Problem.” “But the governor did say that reports like the one by left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showing Nevada could lose more than $250 million in federal funding under the amendment had concerned him. ‘That’s a problem,’ he said. ‘I’ve said all along that I want the state to be held harmless. I want to ensure that those 210,000 people who were the beneficiaries of the opt-in and the newly eligibles are covered.’” [The Nevada Independent, 8/25/17]

PROMISE #2: SENATOR HELLER PROMISED TO PROTECT MEDICAID

Heller: “At The End Of The Day, It’s All About Medicaid Expansion, And Making Sure That Somehow, Someway We Make Sure That These Individuals Who Now Have This Health Insurance Will Continue To Have Health Insurance… You Have To Protect Medicaid Expansion States.” “While the four conservative senators who have announced opposition appear to be disappointed that the legislation does not go far enough to repeal former President Obama’s signature healthcare law, Heller’s chief concern appears to be that the bill would go too far in cutting Medicaid. ‘At the end of the day, it’s all about Medicaid expansion, and making sure that somehow, someway we make sure that these individuals who now have this health insurance will continue to have health insurance,’ Heller said. ‘You have to protect Medicaid expansion states. That’s what I want,’ he added.  ‘It’s going to be very difficult to get me to a ‘yes,’’ Heller noted.” [The Atlantic, 6/23/17]

Heller: “As Long As [Medicaid] Is Out Of The Conversation. If It’s In The Conversation, It’s Not Good For The State.” “In an interview on Wednesday, Heller said he is satisfied with how he has handled the grueling health care debate, which includes standing with Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-Nev.) to lash proposed cuts to Medicaid, getting needled by President Donald Trump in front of other colleagues and then aiding Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in moving forward on the repeal effort. ‘As long as [Medicaid] is out of the conversation. If it’s in the conversation, it’s not good for the state,’ Heller said.” [POLITICO, 7/26/17]

BROKEN: HELLER’S REPEAL BILL WOULD GUT MEDICAID

TPM: After Medicaid Dance This Summer, Heller Backed New Bill That Would Gut Medicaid. “After Medicaid Dance This Summer, Heller Backs New Bill That Would Gut Medicaid […] This spring and summer, when Republicans pushed forward various Obamacare repeal bills that would deeply cut Medicaid spending, Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) came out swinging, vowing not to support any bill that would go after either traditional Medicaid or the Medicaid expansion that has extended coverage to hundreds of thousands of low-income people in his state. But Heller—arguably the most vulnerable Senate Republican up for reelection next year—has now jumped on board a new bill that would deeply cut both over time.” [Talking Points Memo, 9/13/17]

PROMISE #3: SENATOR HELLER PROMISED TO OPPOSE LEGISLATION THAT TAKES HEALTH INSURANCE AWAY FROM TENS OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS

Heller: “I’m Telling You Right Now, I Cannot Support A Piece Of Legislation That Takes Away Insurance Away From Tens Of Millions Of Americans And Hundreds Of Thousands Of Nevadans.” The Republican senators who say they’ll vote no on the latest health care plan fall into two camps. Members of the party’s right wing think this proposal is too timid and doesn’t go far enough to undo the Affordable Care Act. More moderate Republicans, like Heller, think it is harsh and goes too far.  ‘I’m telling you right now, I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes away insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans,’ he said.” [NPR, 7/7/17]

BROKEN: HELLER’S REPEAL BILL WOULD LEAD TO MILLIONS OF AMERICANS LOSING COVERAGE

CBPP: “The Cassidy-Graham Bill Would Have The Same Harmful Consequences As Those Prior Bills. It Would Cause Many Millions Of People To Lose Coverage.” “In releasing a revised version of their legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, along with co-sponsors Dean Heller and Ron Johnson, claimed that their bill isn’t a ‘partisan’ approach and doesn’t include ‘draconian cuts.’ In reality, however, the Cassidy-Graham bill would have the same harmful consequences as those prior bills. It would cause many millions of people to lose coverage, radically restructure and deeply cut Medicaid, eliminate or weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and increase out-of-pocket costs for individual market consumers.” [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 9/13/17]

PROMISE #4: SENATOR HELLER PROMISED TO PRESERVE COVERAGE FOR PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

Heller: “I’ve Spent These Past Few Months Trying To Find Ways To… Preserve Coverage For Those With Pre-Existing Conditions.” “Nevada faces unique challenges when it comes to health care. I’ve spent these past few months trying to find ways to protect the Nevadans who depend on Medicaid, preserve coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, all while bringing down costs and improving quality and access to care.” [Sen. Dean Heller, Press Release, 7/26/17]

BROKEN: HELLER’S REPEAL BILL WOULD GUT PROTECTIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

CBPP: Cassidy-Graham’s Waiver Authority Would Gut Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions. “The revised Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal plan from Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, which is also backed by Senators Dean Heller and Ron Johnson, would give states broad waiver authority to eliminate the ACA’s core protections for people with pre-existing health conditions… Specifically, a little-noticed provision of the block grant funding states would receive under the plan would let them obtain waivers of ACA pre-existing conditions protections and benefit standards for any insurance plan subsidized by block grant funding.” [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 9/15/17]

Vox: Cassidy-Graham Brings Back Pre-Existing Conditions, Would Allow “Insurers To Charge Sick People Higher Premiums — Or Deny Them Coverage Outright.” “The new Republican plan to repeal Obamacare would bring preexisting conditions back to the individual market, allowing insurers to charge sick people higher premiums — or deny them coverage outright.” [Vox, 9/18/17]

PROMISE #5: SENATOR HELLER PROMISED TO PROTECT PLANNED PARENTHOOD

Heller: “I Have No Problems With Federal Funding For Planned Parenthood… I Will Protect Planned Parenthood.” “Later Heller said ‘I have no problems with federal funding for Planned Parenthood.’ But when he was asked explicitly if he’d commit to protecting the organization’s funding at the federal level he responded: ‘We’ll continue to look at this issue.’ The crowd broke into loud boos and chants of ‘no.’ A constituent pointed out Heller’s 2018 race and asked again whether he would preserve federal funding for the group. ‘I will protect Planned Parenthood,’ Heller said.” [USA Today, 4/17/17]

BROKEN: HELLER’S REPEAL BILL WOULD DEFUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD

Cassidy-Graham Repeal Bill “Prohibits Federal Funding For Planned Parenthood.” “Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana last week released a bill that would eliminate or overhaul major sections of the health reform law. […] Defunds Planned Parenthood: In keeping with longstanding Republican beliefs, the legislation prohibits federal funding for Planned Parenthood.” [CNN Money, 9/18/17]