Early in the legislative year the concept of cross partisan politics was loosely bandied about in Carson City. In anticipation of seeing the results of non-partisan politics in action I paid a visit to the Capital late in the 79th session of the Nevada legislature. I sat in on a few committee sessions and was reacquainted with the term cross partisan and also noted it in the passage of a bill of interest arising from the current healthcare debate and of also of note for the City of Mesquite and the town of Bunkerville.
SB60 is AN ACT relating to Medicaid; authorizing the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services to include in the State Plan for Medicaid voluntary programs through which certain governmental entities and Indian tribes may obtain supplemental payments for providing ground emergency medical transportation services to recipients of Medicaid; requiring a participating governmental entity or Indian tribe to reimburse the Department for the costs of implementing and administering any such program; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
SB60 unanimously passed in the Senate on a on a bipartisan basis, was being heard by the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee and is also expected to pass on a bipartisan basis. District 19 representative Chris Edwards also a committee member listened with interest to testimony from the City of Las Vegas (in support of SB60). Federal healthcare legislation may affect the actual rollout of the program regardless of the vote by the state.
Feeling more invigorated I delved into other matter being taken up by the legislature. Our hopes were dashed! Not really expectantly! “Policy, not Politics” was not the prevailing practice because much that was proposed, discussed, pleaded and amended was being routinely dispatched along party lines. Even a brief meeting with Edwards did not dismiss the notion that party rhetoric prevails over most policy statements. Senator Joe Hardy (District 19), also provided an interview and with his elderly statesman charm painted a similar picture of why we “toe the party line”. The takeaway:” You best be the party line”.
In the national news: Nevada Congressman Mark Amodei has not been as chatty as he was about version one of the American Health Care Bill and kept away from any open windows. Amodei completely turned his back on his constituency and probably is practicing for his next town hall. He may consider claiming that he too did not have enough time to read it before voting or that he was “threatened, “arm twisted”, “pork barreled” or just plain “campaign funded” for the next election. He actually said this just a few weeks ago:
Nevertheless (or rather because of Amodei), the American Health Care Plan passed the House last Thursday and Trump with a select group of “Insurance company executives” and their minions celebrated the “W”. Anticipation of the much-awaited windfall in tax breaks and tax reductions for those who want it the most was running high with this potential wave of spending cuts. Pre-existing conditions may no longer be a concern of the very rich and their insurance company sponsors.
Celebrants were heard to utter: “It had been determined that people that are ill are also no longer productive (the old and the handicapped) and we cannot in all good conscience expect them to return to their coal mining and labor intense manufacturing jobs. We also cannot burden investors and corporations who need to add more to their capital wealth so we can create those coal mining and manufacturing jobs for creating even more capital wealth so we can eventually let it trickle it down to you (not on you).”
But that won’t happen until phase 2 when the fence will be replaced with a huge wall, and only oil pipe lines will get through. So stay tuned !