Posts Tagged ‘ObamaCare’

Florida Sen. Rubio Rallies Support For Heller’s Election Bid, Berkley Continues Attack On GOP Plan For Medicare

By Sean Whaley | 5:58 pm August 16th, 2012

RENO – GOP Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, at one time a resident of Las Vegas, rallied supporters for Sen. Dean Heller’s election bid today at an area nightclub.

Rubio, who earlier in the day held a rally with Heller in Las Vegas, toured a local business, the Great Basin Brewing Company, before arriving at Mambo’s next to the Atlantis hotel-casino.

Several hundred supporters turned out for the Reno event.

Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio campaigns for Sen. Dean Heller in Reno today. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

In brief remarks, Rubio talked about growing up in Las Vegas, and how the hotel-casino jobs held by his parents helped the family live the “American dream.” Rubio spent seven years in Las Vegas and attended elementary school there.

His dad was a bartender and his mom was a maid, and they had jobs because someone with money built a hotel in Las Vegas, he said.

“And every two weeks my parents cashed a paycheck,” Rubio said. “They were never rich, but they lived the American dream, because they were able to give us the chance to do all the things they never had a chance to do. Because all the doors that had been closed for them, opened for us.”

Rubio said President Obama’s ideas of big government are the same that have “kept people in poverty for centuries.”

“What’s at stake here really is the majority in the United States Senate,” he told the crowd in remarks that lasted about 10 minutes. “You want to repeal Obamacare? Then you better have a Republican majority in the Unites State Senate. You want to have a tax code that encourages people to create jobs in America? Then you better have a Republican majority in the United States Senate. And we can’t have a Republican majority in the United States Senate if Dean Heller is not reelected to the United States Senate.”

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that in addition to the Las Vegas rally, Heller and Rubio met with Sheldon Adelson and held a fundraising event that brought in close to $200,000.

Heller’s Democratic opponent, Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., was in Northern Nevada today as well, continuing a tour of the state to criticize what she called “the Heller-Ryan-Romney plan to end Medicare as we know it.”

Berkley held events in both Carson City and Fallon.

Heller said he was “proud” to be the only member of Congress to be able to vote twice for the plan to turn Medicare over to “profit-hungry private insurance companies,” Berkley said in a statement.

“Their plan would put insurance company bureaucrats between patients and their doctors while raising premiums by $6,000 a year,” she said. “Nevadans cannot afford the Heller-Ryan-Romney plan to undermine the benefits they are depending on to be there when they retire. I’ll continue to fight each and every day to ensure Medicare’s guaranteed benefits are there for Nevadans for generations to come.”

-

Audio clips:

Sen. Marco Rubio says if Nevadans want to repeal Obamacare and create jobs, they need to elect Dean Heller to the Senate:

081612Rubio1 :21 United States Senate.”

Rubio says his parents lived the American dream while working in Las Vegas:

081612Rubio2 :24 opened for us.”

Nevada Small Business Owners Support Key Aspect Of Obama Health Care Law

By Andrew Doughman | 4:00 am February 28th, 2011

CARSON CITY – A new study shows support for Gov. Brian Sandoval’s plan to implement President Barack Obama’s national health care reform law.

Nevada small businesses prefer a health insurance exchange crafted in Nevada rather than one created and implemented by the federal government, according to a survey from the local branch of the National Federation of Independent Business.

The small business association is the only private organization suing with 26 states, including Nevada, against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the law sometimes called “Obamacare.”

Nevada’s government has chosen to adhere to the law’s deadlines until a definitive court ruling either upholds or strikes down the law. In doing so, the state government has more say in meeting the law’s mandates.

About 100 businesses responded to the poll’s question: “Should Nevada establish its own health insurance exchange instead of deferring to the federal government?”

A majority, 55 percent, said Nevada should be in charge while 19 percent voted ‘No,’ Nevada should not be in charge.

The remaining 26 percent were undecided, perhaps revealing that the law’s intricacies are still new to some business owners.

Many are familiar with the “individual mandate” that sets a deadline for the imposition of penalties for not having health insurance. This is the aspect of the law most frequently called “unconstitutional” by those like Sandoval and others suing to have the law overturned.

The health care insurance exchange is a less-trumpeted piece of the law that could act like a clearinghouse for first-time individual and small business buyers. It’s supposed to be active by 2014, but the planning has already started.

Nevada has hired a Massachusetts-based contractor to help set up what is essentially a Travelocity or Expedia for health insurance; it would find the best deals for a buyer based the buyer’s preference and other personal criteria.

It’s an important concept for small businesses because the federal law allows businesses with up to 50 employees to purchase “qualified” health insurance plans through the exchange. One question Nevada’s policymakers will have to answer is whether the state’s exchange should have a separate division just for small businesses.

Two public meetings, one in Las Vegas and one in Reno, are slated for this Tuesday and Wednesday to allow public comment regarding Nevada’s exchange.

Some policymakers are also entertaining the idea of establishing such an exchange even if the federal law is ruled unconstitutional.

“Regardless of whether this bill gets repealed or not, I have a feeling that health care exchanges will be part of the future anyway,” said Randi Thompson, the local representative for the National Federation of Independent Business.

As KUNR reported earlier this month, Mike Willden, the director of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, has also talked with Sandoval about decoupling the federal law’s mandates and Nevada’s health insurance exchange.

“He [Sandoval] thinks there may be some sense in having a health insurance exchange even if the Supreme Court strikes down the law,” Willden said Friday outside of a committee hearing about the federal health care law.

The National Federation of Independent Business conducts a poll annually so that its lobbyists have some direction for their efforts during legislative sessions nationwide.

In Nevada, the poll’s three other questions were not nearly as controversial as the health insurance exchange question. Among respondents, 77 percent said they would favor penalties for businesses hiring illegal immigrants, 72 percent would support tax exemptions or incentives to promote job growth and 75 percent would endorse a 401(k)-style retirement plan for new government workers.

Thompson said she sent the poll to the approximately 2,000 Nevada members of the National Federation of Independent Business, and said that the 100 respondents represented a “broad spectrum of businesses.”

After Florida Judge Declares Obama Law Unconstitutional, Nevada Government Works to Implement Law

By Andrew Doughman | 1:22 pm February 2nd, 2011

CARSON CITY – The logic of Gov. Brian Sandoval goes something like this: If you’re going to make me do it, let me do it my way.

That’s why he can applaud Monday’s ruling in Florida declaring President Barack Obama’s health care law unconstitutional while at the same time approve of today’s meeting between Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services and stakeholders to discuss implementing the law.

If Nevada makes marked progress toward implementation, it has more control over how the law’s mandates take shape in Nevada. If the state doesn’t act, the federal government steps in to implement the law.

“We must also plan for a Health Insurance Exchange so that we – and not the federal government – control the program,” Sandoval said in his State of the State address earlier this month.

Today’s discussion revolved around setting up that health insurance exchange, which officials have repeatedly said will look something like the airfare websites Travelocity and Expedia. Nevadans buying health care insurance would access the exchange and find the best insurance plan for them.

To be on target for implementation, the state Legislature should pass a bill this session that sets up the skeleton structure of the exchange. Should they not, the federal government might intervene and create that structure for Nevada.

States Legislatures across America are also taking up the issue.

Pending legislation, today’s meeting served as a public forum to raise questions for the state, the insurance industry, hospitals, businesses and individuals.

Nevadans might be wondering: who will I be able to buy insurance from? Who can I talk to if I’ve never bought insurance on my own and need help? What are the options for me as a small business owner? Can the insurance exchange show me if I qualify for government subsidies?

The state will have to answer all of these questions by Jan. 1, 2014, when the federal government has mandated that the exchanges open for business. That’s also the deadline for the “individual mandate,” the controversial aspect of the law that requires most people to purchase health insurance.

That means thousands of first-time buyers will probably seek coverage through the state’s insurance exchange.

Given the enormous task of setting up a market to serve thousands of first-time buyers, Nevada’s Division of Health Care Financing and Policy has contracted with Public Consulting Group to aid in designing the exchange.

Bob Carey, one of the consultants, said he helped implement the Massachusetts health care law that preceded and informed the national law.

He said, however, that he won’t be pushing to make Nevada “Massachusetts-West.”

“What we are going to work towards is a market mechanism or exchange mechanism that reflects the views and desires of the Nevada community,” he said.

He and the state’s health care policy division want a broad dialogue about crafting Nevada’s exchange. That means more stakeholder meetings.

Today’s meeting involved about 60 people in Carson City, Reno and Las Vegas, many of whom represented businesses, hospitals and insurance companies. Future meetings will have larger venues and, perhaps, more private citizens in attendance.

On Monday, a judge in Florida ruled that the health care law is unconstitutional, which bumps the case to an appeals court and one step closer to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But today’s meeting was an apolitical policy meeting, not a courtroom debate. Audience members seemed more concerned with how they could make the exchange work best for them.

“We all know about the litigation results from yesterday. All of the states are kind of moving on two concurrent paths: One is the litigation path …and the other is the health care reform implementation process,” said Gloria Macdonald, a state health care official on the implementation team.

Since the law is on the books until the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to keep it or not, Nevada is marching along toward the law’s implementation deadlines while at the same time suing to do away with the law completely.

On track one, expect more constituent meetings about implementation. On track two, expect an eventual ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that could halt track one.

Pataki Is Coming: One If By Land, Two If By Sea

By Elizabeth Crum | 6:30 pm April 18th, 2010

I’m guessing the former three-term governor of New York may have some unfulfilled political aspirations, as evidenced by the following press release about a national tour and petition drive that includes a stop in Reno tomorrow:

Governor George Pataki Kicks off National Petition Drive to Repeal and Replace ObamaCare with Six State Swing

Washington – Former Governor George Pataki (R-NY), Chairman of Revere America (www.revereamerica.org), announced today the first six stops of the new organization’s grassroots tour and national petition drive to gather the signatures of one million Americans who want to repeal and replace ObamaCare with the responsible reforms our health care system needs and that the American people want.

Revere America will formally launch its national petition drive at an event in Boston on April 18 – the 235th Anniversary of Paul Revere’s famous ride.

The schedule of events follows. All times are local.

SUNDAY, APRIL 18, 2010

Boston, Massachusetts

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Venue: Paul Revere Mall

Address: 416 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02113

MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2010

Lincoln, Nebraska

Time: 8:30 a.m.

Venue: Cornhusker Hotel, Garrett Room

Address: 333 South 13th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508 USA

Reno, Nevada

Time: 12:00 p.m.

Venue: Sierra Marketplace

Address: 3652 South Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89502

San Francisco, California

Time: 4:00 p.m.

Venue: Marriott Marquis, Club Room
Address:
55 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA  94103

TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 2010

Austin, Texas

Time: 8:30 a.m.

Venue: Texas State Capitol (South Steps)

Address: 112 E. 11th Street, Austin, TX 78701

Des Moines, Iowa

Time: 12:30 p.m.

Venue: Embassy Suites, Salon E

Address: 101 East Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

FYI:  Pataki declined a 2010 U.S. Senate bid after reports that he had been approached by Senator John Cornyn, head of the RSCC, about a possible run for the seat currently held by Kirsten Gillibrand.  George Stephanopoulos reported at the time that Pataki had said he was not interested in becoming a senator at the age of 64 and would rather run for president in 2012.

In November 2009, Pataki traveled to Iowa, sparking speculation about a possible presidential bid in 2012.  Looks like he’ll be there again this week.