Nevada: Dem proposes Medicaid buy-in; set to lock in ACA protections at state level

As far as I can tell, even the amazing Louise Norris hasn't caught this one yet (and it's a month old, too!). If I'm wrong and she has done a write-up on it, of course, I'll eat my words:

Medicaid for all

Democratic [Nevada] Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle has introduced a bill, AB374, to open up the state’s Medicaid program to anyone, regardless of their income level.

Individuals would be able to purchase coverage through Medicaid on the healthcare exchange for an annual premium set at 150 percent of the median expenditure paid on behalf of Medicaid enrollees in the preceding fiscal year. Though none of the current federal or state dollars going to fund Medicaid would be used to cover any portion of the new enrollees, they would still be entitled to the same benefits provided to other Medicaid recipients.

The legislation allows the director of the state Department of Health and Human Services to seek any necessary waivers of certain provisions of federal law to allow the program to be offered on the state’s health insurance exchange and to allow individuals to use the federal income tax credits and cost-sharing reductions created by the Affordable Care Act to purchase Medicaid coverage.

With all the fuss over pushing "Medicare for All", smarter minds than mine have noted that as awesome as Medicare is, it's actually Medicaid which might be a better model for a "public option" system. This seems like a pretty reasonable idea to me, and it would be minimally disruptive.

In addition, like Hawaii, Democrats in Nevada appear to be battening down the hatches just in case the GOP really does manage to pull off a repeal/replace deal after all:

Preserving the ACA

Nevada Assembly Democrats are pushing to codify popular portions of the Affordable Care Act into state law amid a looming federal vote to dismantle the law.

Portions copied from the federal health insurance law by the AB408 include:

  • Requiring all insurers to offer health insurance regardless of a person’s pre-existing conditions without denying, limiting or excluding a benefit or forcing them to pay a higher premium.
  • Allowing children to stay on their parent’s insurance until the age of 26.
  • Requiring all health insurance plans to include coverage for maternity and newborn care.
  • Including coverage for preventative health services including screenings and tests for diseases, counseling, vaccinations and contraceptive drugs. Extends requirement to health insurance plans purchased by local governments and the Public Employees’ Benefits Program
  • Prohibiting health care providers and insurers from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, gender identity or expression or sexual orientation.

A similar measure codifying parts of the ACA — SB394 — was introduced late Monday in the Senate.