ICYMI: Lombardo Aligns With Special Interests in Dissing Expanded Affordable Health Care Options

Joe Lombardo is once again prioritizing special interests over the health and wellbeing of Nevadans. New reporting shows that Lombardo has some questionable allies in thinking that the state public option – which would give hundreds of thousands of Nevadans more options for affordable health care – is “bullshit.” In fact, he shares this opinion with the biggest insurance and pharmaceutical companies in the country, who are working to protect their profits by funding a dark money group opposing this policy to lower health care costs for Nevadans.

This doesn’t come as a surprise considering Lombardo has already vetoed vital legislation that would have lowered prescription costs for Nevada families – in fact, PhRMA, one of the founders of the Lombardo-allied dark money group, is suing to block national efforts to lower drug costs. This is all yet another painful reminder that Lombardo will always put special interests first.

Read more below:

Nevada Current: Industry group joins governor in dissing state public option, physicians’ group pushes back

November 7, 2023

Key Points:

  • In an ongoing battle to implement a public health care option in Nevada, an organization allied with the insurance and health care industries released a report Monday arguing the public option would exacerbate the state’s provider shortage and reduce access to care.
  • An arm of Partnership for America’s Health Care Future (PAHCF), a group that advocates on behalf of some of the nation’s largest hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and insurers, commissioned the study.
  • PAHCF opposed the public option legislation when it was enacted in 2021, and have advocated against the public option and health industry reforms in other states and nationally.
  • Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo, who called the public option “bullshit” on the campaign trail, has rallied against its implementation, and called for its repeal during his State of the State Address. 
  • The report’s assessment contrasts with a report prepared for the state Department of Health and Human Services in December 2022. That actuarial report found that the public option would have a “small negative impact on provider revenue” because the individuals who would benefit from the public option make up only about 3% to 4% of the state’s population and a small proportion of providers’ revenue.
  • “Doctors and patients worked hard to help make the Nevada Public Option a reality, and now we’re calling on the health plans to stop obstructing access to affordable healthcare,”  Dr. Harpreet Tsui, an internist in Las Vegas and Nevada Lead for the Committee to Protect Health Care, said in a statement. “But with health care premiums continuing to climb, it’s now more important than ever that Nevadans have access to affordable, quality coverage that doesn’t break the bank,” Tsui said.



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