CARSON CITY — Governor Jim Gibbons today sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius opting out of state operation of a high risk insurance pool as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, otherwise known as the health care ‘reform’ bill.
Under the bill, the State of Nevada would have been provided with $61 million from the federal government to operate the pool. Estimates prepared by Nevada’s Health Care Reform Implementation Team, chaired by Nevada Department of Health & Human Services Director Mike Willden, project that $61 million will only allow approximately 2,900 high risk individuals to be served. Nevada’s uninsured population is more than 500,000. It is estimated there may be as many as 100,000 individuals eligible for the temporary high risk pool.
“Initial planning to implement health care reform has already cost Nevadans over $55,000 in staff time, diverting our work away from our core mission of serving Nevadans during this recession,” Gibbons said. “Ongoing planning costs of nearly $22,000 per week are expected with costs only increasing in the future. That’s before we even get to the $574 million in additional Medicaid costs. Harry Reid’s idea of reform might be breaking the backs and bank accounts of hard working Nevadans, but it is not mine. I will continue to fight against this unconstitutional and costly law.”