Not that I was anticipating anything that wasn’t already plain to all with eyes to see, but to recap & update…
Evidently at about he same time I was writing that Dean Heller could be expected to gut health care coverage, he was confirming to The Hill that yes, he can be expected to gut health care coverage. Specifically, Heller wants the quarter-million or so Nevadans who got health care coverage when Medicaid expanded under Obamacare to be covered no more — at least not with any federal money. That will force Medicaid expansion states like Nevada to either come up with money on their own, or severely revamp eligibility and coverage criteria in ways that would effectively kick people off Medicaid.
It it’s Dean Heller, there must be some tortured ambiguity. In this instance, the underlying squirrely-ness of all things Heller was chronicled by the Reno paper:
When asked to either confirm or clarify what the senator told reporters at the Capitol, Heller spokesperson Megan Taylor asked if the Reno Gazette-Journal was “really doing a story on a false narrative the Democrats are pushing?”
She did not respond to questions about what information she considered was coming from Democrats, whether that be the report in The Hill or the senator’s own words.
I repeat: The election is a year and a half away, which is a lot of time for Heller and his Republican colleagues, arm in arm with a venal and demented president whose unfitness they stubbornly deny, to inflict irreparable harm on the nation. Heller needs to feel heat — yes, from the public, but also from a credible challenger. Titus, Marshall, somebody else? How about a primary? The main thing is that whatever Democrats are going to do, they need to need to start doing it, not just to beat Heller, but to make sure he thinks twice and then twice more about marching in legislative lock step with Trump, Bannon, McConnell and Ryan.
Additional quick update: Regrettably, and yet to the surprise of no one, Brian Sandoval vetoed the minimum wage bill. There’s another path to raising the wage in the works, which I explored the other day. There will be a lot to say — and hear — about this issue as the campaign cycle develops. For now, there’s one point I want to reiterate: No action taken by the state of Nevada would do greater good for a greater number of people than substantially raising the minimum wage.