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Statement from Nevada State Democratic Party on Nevada Public Option Legislation

LAS VEGAS — Today, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Judith Whitmer released a statement on Senate Bill 420, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, to create a public option to ensure that Nevadans always have access to affordable healthcare. The bill, which has received a broad base of support from across the state’s Democratic party and progressive organizations, will provide Nevadans with another option on the healthcare menu. Insured Nevadans can keep the coverage they already have or can join other Nevadans in purchasing the state’s new high-quality, lower-cost healthcare option. Chair Whitmer’s statement follows:

“Senate Bill 420 is a step in the right direction in our goal of universal, single-payer healthcare for all Nevadans, and all Americans—a goal that is all the more necessary as COVID-19 lays bare the deep inequities and failures within our current healthcare system,” Whitmer said. “Over the past year, as Nevadans grappled with the ongoing pandemic, many lost their coverage when they lost their jobs, and our small businesses were faced with the difficult decision to either close their doors, or cut employees’ benefits to stay afloat. With a public option, we can ensure that not only will more Nevadans both have access to quality health care, but also that they can retain that health care even in the face of job loss or significant life changes.” 

Creating a public option would:

  • lower cost for everyone by forcing insurance companies to compete with the public option for your business; 
  • allow small business employees and contractors access to quality, affordable health insurance; 
  • provide an affordable option for people who lose their jobs and don’t qualify for Medicaid; 
  • enhance Medicaid maternity coverage to promote healthier pregnancies, mothers, and babies; 
  • guarantee rural Nevadans have quality, affordable options on Nevada Health Link; and
  • secure a better deal for Nevadans by leveraging the state’s ability to negotiate for lower costs of care. 

In addition to providing more choice for Nevadans, this option would save families on their premiums and out-of-pocket costs by leveraging the state’s ability to negotiate lower prices for care.