101°F
weather icon Clear

Sisolak lays out plan to fix Nevada health care

RENO — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak toured a community health clinic in Reno on Monday to highlight the release of his proposals to improve the state’s worst-in-the-nation health care system.

“Without a doubt, it’s one of our more pressing needs that we have in the state of Nevada,” Sisolak said after touring the Community Health Alliance and taking questions from health care providers and other stakeholders.

“I don’t want to give anybody the idea that this can be fixed overnight, because it can’t,” he later told reporters. “It’s a major issue.”

The candidate’s plan, available at http://stevesisolak.com/providing-affordable-high-quality-health-care-for-every-nevadan, would create a governor-appointed Patient Protection Commission that would bring together patients, doctors, health care providers and policymakers to find and recommend health care fixes. Sisolak’s commission would have 100 days to make legislative recommendations, focusing on reining in rising health care costs, improving access and harnessing innovation, such as expanding telemedicine programs.

Other specifics would:

■ Seek to extend protections of a 2017 state law regulating the cost of diabetes drugs to medications for cancer, heart disease and other ailments, and improve drug price transparency.

■ Expand children’s health insurance programs to cover what Sisolak said is the 7.6 percent of Nevada kids without benefits.

■ Improve health care access in the rural counties and turn around the state’s mental health services, which also rank last nationally.

■ Create a state drug purchasing coalition that could negotiate for lower drug prices.

Contrasting his health care positions with those of his Republican opponent, Attorney General Adam Laxalt, Sisolak said he fully supports the Affordable Care Act and Gov. Brian Sandoval’s move to enact the ACA’s provision to expand Medicaid to cover lower-income residents. Laxalt, he said, opposes both.

Sisolak also touted his experience with providing health care as a member of the University Medical Center’s board of trustees and said Laxalt has no similar experience.

In response, the Laxalt campaign pointed to the candidate’s own health care plan. Laxalt, who cites the ACA’s “disastrous effects,” nonetheless has pledged to retain Medicaid expansion but seek reforms, including adopting work requirements for recipients.

Through a spokesman, Laxalt said government ambulance fees and the cost of hospital stays at UMC had risen during Sisolak’s tenure on the Clark County Commission.

Both candidates tout efforts to safeguard Nevadans with pre-existing conditions, address the state’s chronic shortage of health care providers and work to improve mental health and respond to addiction crises.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Nevada Health Response notes COVID-19 cases exceed 52,000

COVID-19 Response Director Caleb Cage and Deputy Administrator of Community Health Services Julia Peek provided the update during a teleconference designed to disseminate information on outbreak statistics. The Nevada Health Response website can be accessed 24 hours a day.

IN SEASON: Okra, a southern favorite for your western garden

Okra may be considered a staple crop in the American South, but it also grows very well in our hot dry climate. As a member of the mallow family, it puts on a stunning display of delicate yellow flowers.

Special legislative session scheduled to open Friday

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday issued the formal proclamation to call the Nevada Legislature into a special session beginning 9 a.m. Friday, July 31 to address significant policy issues that cannot wait until the regularly scheduled legislative session. This will be the 32nd special session in Nevada’s history.

Report chronicles massive decline in fish populations

With hydroelectric power, overfishing, climate change and pollution on the rise, monitored populations of migratory freshwater fish species have plummeted by 76% on average since 1970, according to the first comprehensive global report on the status of freshwater migratory fish issued this week by the World Fish Migration Foundation and Zoological Society of London.

AngloGold Ashanti gains exploration project permit

The administrator of the Division of Environmental Protection has decided to issue a reclamation permit for an exploration project to AngloGold Ashanti North America.

Immunizations remain required part of back-to-school routines

As parents continue to navigate what back to school looks like this year, one aspect of the ritual that hasn’t changed is making sure kids are up to date on their vaccines. Whether families choose in-person, hybrid or distance learning models for the fall 2020 school session, Nevada law requires immunizations for child care, school and university entry, with the exception of religious exemptions or a medical condition.

DMV will offer renewals online, by mail this fall

Nevada motorists who have been unable to make an appointment at DMV offices before their expiration date will benefit from two new initiatives announced Tuesday by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Nye County Civic Center proposal presented

In 2016, when Valley Electric Association was aiming to sell a 200-kilovolt transmission line and needed a vote of approval by its members in order to do so, one of the selling points for that sale was the promise that if it went through, VEA would donate $5 million toward the construction of a new community center. It may have taken nearly three years after the transmission sale was executed but VEA did finally make good on that promise, offering the $5 million donation to Nye County, with the Nye County Commission voting to accept it in September 2019.

NCSD superintendent lays out school reopening plans

Earlier this month, the Nye County School District Board of Trustees approved the district’s COVID-19 re-entry plan, which laid out three models for returning students and staff to school safely.