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One Year Ago: Sandoval Called Trump’s Health Care Sabotage “Devastating,” Laxalt Refused to Stop It

One year ago today, Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval told The Nevada Independent that a decision by Pres. Trump to end a program that keeps insurance markets stable and premiums affordable for low-income Americans was “devastating” and would “hurt everybody.” Two months later, reports revealed that Attorney General Adam Laxalt, the Republican nominee for governor, snubbed a request from the state health exchange to join a lawsuit to challenge Trump’s sabotage.

“It’s going to hurt people. It’s going to hurt kids. It’s going to hurt families. It’s going to hurt individuals. It’s going to hurt people with mental health issues. It’s going to hurt veterans. It’s going to hurt everybody,” Sandoval said one year ago today. “And so this is something that I’ve been very supportive during my administration in terms of expanding health care and making sure that people have access to affordable health care and I’m going to continue on that path….Now this is going to make it much more difficult for those people out in the rural counties and in the urban areas to be able to obtain affordable insurance….So this is something I don’t support, I think that this has been very good for Nevada, and I think the administration should keep providing those subsidies.”

Cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments from the federal government allow insurers to offer affordable health care plans and keep insurance markets stable. Attorneys general from 18 states filed a lawsuit after Trump announced he would end the payments, but Laxalt ignored a request from the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange to consider joining. Cutting the payments would cause premiums for silver health plans to go up 11 percent, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Insurance provider Anthem cited the Trump administration’s constant threats to end CSR payments as a reason for its decision to leave Nevada’s exchange.

Nevada State Democratic Party spokeswoman Helen Kalla released the following statement:

“From health care to education, Gov. Sandoval knows there are a lot of ways Adam Laxalt would ‘devastate’ Nevada. Laxalt’s record of putting his party bosses and special interest donors above what’s best for the state is not lost on the voters. Nevadans won’t forget how Laxalt sided with Washington over his own governor, and refused to stand up to Trump’s sabotage of our health care system.”