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Health Care Reform Repeal Would Cost NV "Hundreds of Millions"

January 10, 2011

Las Vegas, NV - Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have delayed the repeal vote on the health care reform law, in light of the tragic shootings this weekend in Arizona. But they have pledged to repeal the new law, calling it a budget-buster.

Nevadans may feel justifiably confused after listening to the pro and con arguments. Some say repeal will save money; others insist it will cost billions. According to Michael Ginsburg, Southern Nevada director of the group Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN), when Nevada factors in the state's high population of senior citizens, plus those who are unemployed and children without health insurance, repeal could be expensive for the Silver State.

"For us, if we were to repeal the Affordable Care Act, would translate into hundreds of millions of dollars in uncompensated care for our hospitals - which are struggling as it is, across the state."

Joanne Grossi, regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources, points out that the new law will save at least $230 billion over the next 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

"Anyone who believes that repealing this will save the government money, they're wrong. We really have true, nonpartisan estimates that health care reform is actually going to save us money - and make people healthier."

Nevada seniors stand to lose both preventive care and new improvements to Medicaid prescription drug coverage if the plan is repealed, adds Ginsburg.

"Changing that for those seniors is really, really catastrophic; I mean, you could be adding thousands and thousands of dollars onto each one of Nevada's seniors every year, which is absolutely ridiculous."

Nevada's congressional delegation is split along party lines on the issue. Republicans Dean Heller and Joe Heck have campaigned against the Affordable Care Act, while Democrat Shelley Berkley has been a major supporter.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV