Sisolak, Laxalt Focus on Health Care Plan
Nevada's gubernatorial candidates are making their proposals to improve the state's health care system.
Nevada's gubernatorial candidates are making their proposals to improve the state's health care system. Adam Laxalt released his plan, last week, emphasizing the need for more doctors in Nevada. The republican candidate is in Las Vegas, and spent the afternoon at a health care event.
"As Governor, health care will be a priority for me," Laxalt, R-Nevada said in a statement. "That's why we released a detailed plan centered on health care access, affordability, and quality."
Sisolak unveiled his plan, Monday. He spent the morning at a Community Health Alliance clinic, taking a tour and discussing the issue with health professionals. He says health care, along with education are his top priorities.
"We need to make sure that folks don't have to choose between buying groceries and paying for a prescription and I think that we've come up with a plan that will make progress," Sisolak, D-Nevada said.
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 25 percent of adults under 65 years of age, in Nevada, have pre-existing conditions. He says they need to be protected.
"Diabetes is a pre-existing condition, high blood pressure is a pre-existing condition," Sisolak said. "Those are things that if you're branded with that and it makes it difficult for you to get health insurance, that's a real problem."
Laxalt's plan lays out three main points. He wants to increase the number of Nevada's medical professionals, work on mental health and addiction, and strengthen Medicaid. He says a loan forgiveness program would help with Nevada's shortage of doctors, as well as investing in residencies to keep more graduates from the University of Nevada's School of Medicine in the state.He also wants to reduce regulations and use technology.
On the issues of mental health and addiction, he wants to loosen licensing requirements to attract more professionals and says direct enrollment to Medicaid could prevent some ER visits.
Finally, he says Medicaid will be stronger with reimbursement reforms, the adoption of work requirements for Medicaid recipients, and finding ways to eliminate waste and abuse.
"We need to strengthen Medicare, protect people with pre-existing conditions, address the shortage of doctors and nurses, and confront our mental health and addiction crises head on," Laxalt said.
Sisolak supports Medicaid Expansion and the Affordable Care Act but says Nevada does not have the resources to have a "Medicaid For All" program. He is calling for more transparency with pharmaceutical companies and suggests a "buying co-op" to allow the purchase of prescription drugs in bulk.
"One loaf of bread, you pay $1," Sisolak said. "If you buy a million loaves of bread, you might get it down to 25 cents and I think that's what we need to do with our pharmaceuticals."
He also says Medicaid reimbursements need to be higher.
"The reimbursement rates right now are not paying the cost," Sisolak said. "If we want to keep the doctors...right now we're already short of doctors. If we continue to reduce these reimbursement rates, we're going to lose more doctors."
Sisolak says fixing our health care system is a huge challenge both in the state and the country, but that certain reforms can make a big difference.
"I know that we can't do everything at one time, financially, but we're going to do the best we can to start making end roads everywhere possible," Sisolak said.