As the Trump Administration announced a new attack on pre-existing conditions protections—unsurprisingly, Dean Heller once again made it clear he’s going to keep toeing the party line and will not stand up for Nevadans with pre-existing conditions. Nevadans shouldn’t be surprised by Heller’s spinelessness, especially after Heller’s desperate groveling at a campaign rally with President Trump two days ago, saying that everything Trump touches “turns to gold.”
Dean Heller has a long record of selling out Nevadans to please party leaders. In 2011, Heller voted to completely repeal the Affordable Care Act without any type of replacement or exception for pre-existing conditions. Then just last summer, after standing with Gov. Brian Sandoval and vowing not to support legislation that would take health care away from hundreds of thousands of Nevadans, Heller folded to pressure from his donors and President Trump and broke his promise. The bill Heller voted to advance would have made it so those with pre-existing conditions “would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive nongroup health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all.” Two weeks ago, Heller sided with McConnell over Nevadans and cast a deciding vote to keep Trump’s junk insurance plans that will undermine protections for pre-existing conditions. And to this day, Heller is still working to pass his radical health care repeal plan that would weaken coverage protections for pre-existing conditions.
Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Sarah Abel released the following statement:
“Is this what Heller meant when he said everything Trump touches to turns to gold? Because this seems more like coal. Time and again this Administration threatens Nevadans’ health insurance and Dean Heller goes along with them every single time. Given the fact that Sen. Heller has joined Washington Republicans in backing health care repeal and slashing coverage protections for pre-existing conditions in the past, Nevadans know they cannot count of Senator Heller to stand up to President Trump and protect them, and that’s why they’re going to vote him out of office in two weeks.”
Health care has become a defining issue of next month’s midterm elections, and Republicans across the country, including President Donald Trump, are promising voters that they care deeply about protecting people with pre-existing conditions.
But Monday’s rule change almost certainly means that, overall, people with serious medical problems are likely to have a harder time finding coverage ― and, ultimately, paying their medical bills.
Under guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services that takes effect immediately but likely won’t affect insurance markets for another year, state governments will have new leeway to request waivers from some of the federal health care law’s core requirements.
That includes requirements affecting which benefits insurance plans cover, as well as requirements on who gets financial assistance and how much, and how the people choosing insurance can use that assistance.
It’s a complicated set of changes, but it means that some residents of states seeking the waivers could end up with easier access to cheaper, skimpier health plans, providing an alternative to those who cannot afford to pay for comprehensive coverage that the Affordable Care Act has made available.