News has broken that Anthem will stop offering health plans under the Affordable Care Act in nearly all of Nevada’s rural counties, specifically blaming the uncertainty caused by the Republican health care plan in the U.S. Senate.Roughly 8,000 rural Nevadans will lose their access to insurance, with no alternatives to buy a different plan on the exchange. Prominence also decided to pull out of the state’s exchange entirely.
From Stewart Boss, Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson: “Nevada families are already feeling the harmful effects of the Republican health care agenda in Washington, and Senator Heller – who has voted 20 times to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act – is a major part of the problem. The uncertainty and instability caused by Dean Heller and Senate Republicans continuing their efforts to pass their toxic health care plan, combined with the GOP’s efforts to disrupt the exchanges, is now creating havoc in Nevada’s rural counties. The thousands of Nevadans who will lose their health care plans or lose access to health insurance through the exchange have Dean Heller and Donald Trump to blame for this turmoil.”
Have you ever wondered why the GOP Senate continually sides with the NRA on all gun-related proposed legislation, and against well over a majority of their constituents, Democrat, Republican and Independents? They’ve been bought, including Nevada’s own Sen. Dean Heller (to the tune of a $122,000 scholarship from the NRA)!
Remember Todd Akin, the GOP Senate candidate in Missouri who talked about “legitimate rape?” Akin’s comments were ignorant, insensitive, and out-of-touch. Which is why we were disappointed Nevada Republicans seem to be taking their cues on women’s health from Todd Akin.
Last week, the Republican nominee for Nevada Controller, Ron Knecht, wrote an op-ed where he essentially said new guidelines to prevent sexual assault on college campuses are an example of federal overreach. He even blamed programs to prevent sexual assault for the increase in college tuition!
Ron Knecht’s comments were moronic, but unfortunately not surprising. Whether it’s Sen. Dean Heller’s support for restricting access to contraception, Rep. Joe Heck’s votes to ban abortion for rape victims and to weaken the Violence Against Women Act, or Nevada Republican Senate Leader, and former Tom DeLay operative, Michael Roberson, supporting “personhood” measures which could outlaw forms of birth control, Nevada Republicans time and time again demonstrate they are completely clueless when it comes to women’s health.
Fortunately, Nevadans have a clear choice in the election for State Controller. While Ron Knecht is focused on criticizing programs to help sexual assault victims, Democratic nominee Andrew Martin will focus on managing the state’s finances.
When the Supreme Court made the terrible decision to allow corporations like Hobby Lobby to discriminate against women, members of Congress were ready to fight back to defend women’s access to birth control.
Senators Murray, Udall and Boxer quickly introduced a bill to make sure that corporations can’t interfere with employees’ access to health care, including birth control, as provided for by the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) under federal law. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid fast-tracked the bill, bringing it for a full vote in the Senate today.
Not surprisingly, Republicans, including Nevada’s own Senator Dean Heller, used the filibuster to block an up-or-down vote on the bill, meaning it will now take 60 votes to pass this bill. Only two Republicans broke from their caucus’s en bloc action — Senators Kirk and Murkowski.
Republicans continue to use the filibuster to shut down sensible legislation, and provide cover for their members who don’t want to go on the record in opposition to things like birth control access for women, common sense gun law reform, or relief for crushing student loan debt.
This week, they used the filibuster to block a legislative remedy for the disastrous Hobby Lobby v. Burwell decision. Outrageously, the five male justices on the Supreme Court ruled that the contraception mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In oral arguments, Chief Justice John Roberts suggested that Congress could exempt the Affordable Care Act from the RFRA as a way of protecting the inclusion of contraception as preventative care in the ACA. The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act does exactly that, and would have protected not only women’s access to contraception from employer discrimination, but any employees’ access to any health care provided through the Affordable Care Act.
Tell Senate Republicans to end their filibuster and allow a vote on women’s access to birth control. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:
Vote #228 held on July 16, 2014, 02:09 PM EDT on the Motion to Proceed (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S.2578 )
This Senate’s confirmation of Gina McCarthy to lead the Environmental Protection Agency means that, finally, after months of political obstruction by the Congressional friends of big polluters, we have a new administrator to deliver the public health and environmental protections that we all deserve. Senator Reid may have voted for her confirmation, but Senator Heller voted NAY (Vote 180) because he’s an “outdoorsman” and apparently believes Ms. McCarthy just might impact his ability to allow his big polluter, anti-climate benefactors to reak havoc on our environment.
I called his office and I also wrote to Senator Heller asking him to support Gina McCarthy’s nomination to lead the EPA, and in response his office apparently had some sort of “hiccup” on July 10th … and they mailed me four identical response letters with political speak blowing me off. So, Mr. Heller, here’s the deal. You have clearly voted against my wishes each and every time I’ve contacted your office. Thus, YOU clearly do not represent me. So, at your next election, when your name is on the ballot, I’ll be voting “NAY” for you by voting for “the other guy.”