As our elected representatives in Washington DC, we urge you to protect health care for Nevada’s most vulnerable citizens. Our homeless community members are among the most medically vulnerable people in the country, and will be significantly impacted if the ACA is repealed without an immediate replacement of coverage that ensures continued access to medical care.
Our homeless community members are often the most costly “superutilizers” of our health care system and have the hardest time accessing coverage. Medicaid expansion as part of the ACA helps people who are homeless get coverage and access to the care they need to get back on their feet. The ACA, and Medicaid Expansion in Nevada, funds critical services for our homeless community members including medical care, mental health care, case management, and bridge housing.
Through Medicaid, our State has made progress in addressing the health needs of this population. Medicaid expansion has reduced high traffic in emergency and inpatient settings and is reducing the significant cost burden of these “superutilizers” on our health care system. Cuts to the Medicaid system would immediately and directly decimate health coverage and access to the care our homeless community members so desperately need. It is estimated that if the reconciliation bill passes, repealing crucial components of the ACA, that Nevada will receive $1 billion less in federal funds in 2019 and our state would go from 391,000 uninsured to 762,000 uninsured, a 95% increase.
Nevada’s leadership and citizens have worked relentlessly to extend health care access, with Nevada having the first republican Governor to expand Medicaid. As Governor Sandoval stated in his letter to House Leadership on January 3, 2017, “Going forward, we must ensure first that any new reforms do not mandate additional costs and second leverage the advancement already made and paid for under the ACA. Moreover, you must ensure that individuals, families, children, aged, blind, disabled and mentally ill are not suddenly left without the care they need to live healthy, productive lives.” We urge you to protect the health of Nevadans by ensuring that an adequate plan is in place before there is any repeal of the ACA. Homeless children, families, seniors, are counting on you to protect their access to care.
Thank you for fighting for us.