CD4 Candidate Steven Horsford Supports Federal Health Care Act, Medicaid Expansion in Nevada

LAS VEGAS – State Senate Majority Leader and 4th Congressional District candidate Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, said he supports the federal health care law that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in late June.

Horsford, who is running in the new district that encompasses parts of North Las Vegas as well as parts of rural Nevada said he would have voted for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), adding that he believes it is important for the betterment of the country.
“Thirty percent of Nevadans are uninsured. Most of them are children,” said Horsford. “All of us as taxpayers pay for people who end up going into the emergency room and receiving care through uncompensated care.”

State Senate Majority Leader and CD4 candidate Steven Horsford

Horsford, interviewed on Jon Ralston’s television program Face to Face last Thursday, said he supports the measure including insuring people with pre-existing conditions, helping students and young people stay on their parents insurance and helping seniors afford the cost of their medications.

Horsford declined to call the ACA’s tax penalty a tax, though, as the U.S. Supreme Court did in its decision.
“It’s a penalty for those who fail to get insurance,” said Horsford.
Horsford also said he had talked to a small business owner in his district who is benefitting because he is now going to be able to afford health care coverage for employees.
Regarding the debate over whether Nevada should expand its Medicaid program under ACA, Horsford agreed it will undercut a key part of the bill if Nevada does not opt in to the expansion.
Horsford pointed out that the first three years’ costs for the benefits under a Medicaid expansion would be paid for by the federal government and asked about Nevada’s participation, “Why wouldn’t we?”
Horsford also echoed familiar Democratic talking points about standing with the middle class against obstructionist Republicans who represent only the wealthy.
“I stand with the people who are suffering right now, who are struggling. I know because I am one of them,” said Horsford. “My opponent represents the rich, the ultra rich, and he will stand with the Republicans in Congress. I will stand with the middle class.”
When presented with a video clip of his opponent Danny Tarkanian saying he expected that Horsford would engage in class warfare in his congressional campaign, Horsford called Tarkanian “a self-proclaimed crazy radical” and said that Tarkanian was endorsed by the Palin family.
When he was running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in 2010, Tarkanian was endorsed by Sarah Palin’s father.
The following month, when asked in an interview with ABC’s Topline about conservative media personality Glenn Beck praising him as a Tea Party radical, Tarkanian said Beck had lumped him in with Marco Rubio and other conservative politicians who advocate for common sense principles.
“I am one of those crazy radicals — according to the far left media — that has those common sense views,” Tarkanian said.
As evidence of Tarkanian’s supposed extremism, Horsford pointed to Tarkanian’s pro-life positions as well as recent campaign statements that if elected he would look at abolishing the Department of Education.
Horsford defended President Obama’s economic policies by saying Obama inherited a difficult situation including the loss of more than four million jobs during the Bush administration.
The president has offered numerous proposals for job creation but the Republicans in Congress have not cooperated, Horsford said.
“The president has created private sector jobs,” said Horsford. “Is it enough? No. We all should want more jobs.”
Like fellow Democrat and Assembly Speaker John Oceguera who is running in the 3rd Congressional District, Horsford declined to say whether he would have voted for the so-called stimulus bill but he did say that he supported its job-saving aspects.
“As a state senator, as the chairman of the finance committee, I know that without those investments, Nevada would have had higher unemployment and our services would have been compromised for the people of Nevada,” Horsford said.
“Those investments were necessary,” he added.
Regarding clean energy initiatives, Horsford said he continues to believe that Nevada can be a leader in that growing industry.
Regarding the failure of Amonix, a solar parts manufacturer in North Las Vegas that closed its doors last week, Horsford mentioned the death of the company’s CEO last year and said the exception should not dictate the rule.
“This sector of renewable energy should not be based on the success or failure of one company alone,” Horsford said.
Horsford said he disagrees with Republicans that government should not invest in or subsidize green energy initiatives.
“There was tremendous subsidies for traditional energy, coal and other energy sources, for decades so it isn’t like this is some new thing, that the government helps subsidize a growing and emerging industry,” said Horsford.
When asked to name one solar energy company that has helped someone in the middle class in Nevada, Horsford mentioned the Solar One plant in Boulder City.
That plant presently supports only five permanent jobs, but Horsford defended it.
“Those are five jobs that we desperately need in Nevada, and my opponent has not offered any solutions for how he creates jobs,” said Horsford.
Horsford cited his own commitment to job creation in his 10 years at the helm of the Culinary Training Academy (CTA), a joint management and labor partnership between participating gaming companies and the Culinary and Bartenders Unions. The CTA prepares students for positions in the hospitality industry.
“It’s not easy. It’s about partnership,” said Horsford. “It’s about bringing the private sector together with labor, with government, with the community to actually get people the training that they need.”
Horsford was passionate when talking about unethical lending practices and the housing collapse in Nevada and across the nation.
“I believe that those who issued those predatory loans should go to jail,” said Horsford.
Horsford said there should have been strings attached to bailouts to make sure the banks kept on lending and that small businesses are still struggling to make payroll because they cannot gain access to needed capital.