To his credit, Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval went against GOP moonhowlers, expanded Medicaid and insured tens of thousands of lower-income Nevadans under Obamacare. Nonetheless, Nevada as usual sits at the bottom of the barrel in this category, spending less on Medicaid than any other state.
Under one possibility in the current proposed Obamacare “fix,” Medicaid levels may be forever frozen at 2016 levels, which will lead to (Sarah Palin alert!) death panels. See below.
Former Sen. Joe Neal, D-N. Las Vegas, once told me that the late Gov. Mike O’Callaghan (1971-79) lived to see his two greatest achievements dismantled by his successors.
Whenever the nation’s stingiest budget needs balancing, Nevada governors and lawmakers always hit the weakest first. We washed our hands of the physically disabled by privatizing injured worker insurance under Gov. Kenny Guinn (1999-2007). The euphemistically named “workers compensation” was created to put government in the shoes of employers who might otherwise get sued for unsafe working conditions, saving them billions.
The Rural Mental Health Clinics Program pioneered by Big Mike never recovered from the cuts imposed by conservative Democrat Bob Miller (1989-99) in consultation with future Gov. Guinn.
Cow County health care remains a life-threatening danger zone. (Barbwire 6 April 2006 et seq.).
Medicaid caps lead to rationed health care which leads to death panels where the sickest are left to suffer and die. (See Arizona 2010.) We’ve seen all this before with Ronald Reagan’s “New Federalism” where programs were turned into block grants which then suffered the death of a thousand cuts. Formerly financially sound states and municipalities starting going broke.
Streets in Omaha, Nebraska, are being ground back to gravel due to lack of funds. Sparks-Reno may be next because of all the corporate welfare doled out to billionaires who don’t pay taxes for the growth they cause.
Gov. Sandoval has proposed cutting $20 million from the mental health budget which will severely impact the Sparks complex on Galletti Way. He says he trusts Tsar Donaldov Vladimirovitch to cover his play. Good luck with that.
I’ve invited the governor to speak at César Chávez XV at Circus Circus March 29. No governor has ever attended. Both Sandoval and his predecessor have forgotten as often as they’ve remembered to issue the legally mandated César Chávez Day proclamation. Mr. Sandoval can bring it with him and his family. All are welcome. See CesarChavezNevada.com/
The event’s purpose is to celebrate the great labor leader’s legacy and listen to officials and community leaders of all political persuasions who live it and work it every day.
Local workers will visit congressional representatives this week. Show up. Watch NevadaLabor.com or get on my e-bulletin list.
César Chávez wanted us to take care of each other. We still have a lot of work to do.
¡Sí se puede!
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
Andrew Barbano is a 48-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org> Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.