Coward of The Day: Senator Dean Heller

In addition to his vote yesterday to advance health care repeal, today Senator Heller said he would also support a vote that would allow Congressional Republicans to craft a final repeal package behind closed doors and strip health care away from millions of Americans.   Senator Heller has broken his promises and completely abandoned the people he is supposed to represent. For putting politics ahead of the livelihoods of Nevadans, Senator Heller is today’s coward of the day:

Senator Heller said today that he thought he would support skinny repeal.

Heller on skinny repeal: “we'll see at the end of the day what's in it, but overall I think I'd support it.

Skinny repeal would cause millions to lose their insurance, premiums to increase, and would send insurance markets into a “death spiral.” It would also lead to a conference committee with House Republicans who voted to gut Medicaid.

Huffington Post: “The skinny repeal, while a less robust piece of legislation, would still manage to do much of the same. The CBO has previously said that similar legislation would lead to 15 million fewer people with health insurance and 20 percent premium increases. The legislation would, in short, produce the sort of death spiral that Republicans accuse Obamacare of producing.”

Vox: “But there’s a reason why repealing only the individual mandate is a bad idea: It would likely destroy the individual market, in a process health care experts call the ‘death spiral.’”

Politico: “Basically no senators will like it — but they may vote for it just to keep the repeal drive going. Passing a skinny bill would enable the Senate to negotiate with the House on a compromise package that can clear both chambers. But it’s not clear that even that stripped-down package can garner the 50 votes from Republicans needed to pass. Nor is it clear that a deal can be struck with the House, which voted for a far more sweeping repeal and replace package, including the Medicaid changes and state waivers that could wipe out Obamacare patient protections for people with health conditions.”

Senator Heller previously promised his constituents that he would not “pull the rug out from under states like Nevada that expanded Medicaid” and that their health coverage would improve.

Senator Heller: “’We cannot pull the rug out from under states like Nevada that expanded Medicaid, and we need assurances that people with pre-existing conditions will be protected,’ said Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, who is up for re-election next year.”

Senator Heller: “And while Mr. Heller has called for repealing the Affordable Care Act — a promise that thrills the Republican base — he has also, like many of his colleagues, consistently reassured voters that their health coverage would improve under a Republican alternative.”

Senator Heller: “Still, Heller took a far softer tack than the law’s staunchest opponents, frequently speaking of making ‘changes’ to Obamacare rather than eviscerating the law as some Republicans say they will do. He made no commitment to support the House-led effort to repeal the law, which could come before the Senate this month.  ‘Not everything in the Affordable Care Act is bad,’ Heller told the crowd in Henderson, a suburb of Las Vegas, as protesters demonstrated outside. ‘As we move forward and take a look at some of these changes and what’s occurring, I think we ought to embrace what’s good in the Affordable Care Act.’