weather icon Clear

Randi Thompson: Nevada’s businesses, employees deserve better health care solutions

Nevada’s small and independent business owners strive to provide employees with comprehensive, quality health care coverage. Doing so is not only beneficial for employee-employer relations, but it is a key way to attract and retain employees in a tight labor market.

That is why all the talk lately of massively overhauling our entire health care system—mostly by presidential candidates—has a lot of Nevada business owners and workers concerned.

Moving away from a free-market-based health care system and toward one that is more controlled by the government could undermine the progress our country has made toward building a robust health care insurance system in which private and employer-sponsored plans have been able to grow and evolve to meet the many, varying needs of America’s small businesses and employees.

Whether it is called single-payer, a public option, or Medicare for All, these systems would all result in either undermining private and employer-sponsored health care plans to compete—or wiping out their ability to do so in one fell swoop. Eventually, under a government-controlled health care insurance system, private and employer-based coverage options would diminish until only the government’s plan is left standing—with no assurances as to what would be covered and what out-of-pocket expenses it would mean for consumers.

Moreover, any of these proposals would mean higher taxes for hardworking American families. It is naive and foolish to think otherwise. There is simply no way to fund a massive, government-run program—with a price tag in the tens of trillions of dollars —without massive tax hikes.

In return, Nevadans would not be assured a higher quality of care; if anything, the opposite is true. Government-run health care would also mean uneven quality of care and longer waiting times. It’s a true lose-lose-lose situation. In Nevada with many rural communities, the impact of a government-run health care system could have detrimental impacts on access for patients.

According to one study by Navigant Consulting, a public option to compete with private and employer-sponsored health care could put as much as 55 percent of our nation’s rural hospitals at a high risk of closure. Considering the public option is one of the more “moderate” proposals, who knows how bad things could be under Medicare for All or a single-payer system.

Rural Nevadans face enough challenges when it comes to accessing the care they need at prices they can afford without further undermining the health care facilities that are working to meet their health care needs.

No one thinks our current health care system is perfect; there is certainly a lot of work policymakers could do to improve it. And that’s exactly what they should be doing —improve what’s currently working under the ACA and fix what problems still exist. Taking this approach is a far better way to address rising health care costs while expanding access for more Nevadans.

A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showed that 59 percent of Americans oppose a single-payer Medicare for All system that would eliminate the private health insurance industry.

The sooner candidates running for president realize this, the better off we’ll all be.

Randi Thompson is Nevada state director, National Federation of Independent Business

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Tim Burke: Due diligence required when buying a ‘mobile home’

Manufactured homes are an affordable housing solution for many Nevadans, but there is still a certain stigma and prejudice toward manufactured homes by the public, governing agencies and financial institutions. An estimated 5.6 % of all Americans, or 17.7 million people, live in manufactured homes, commonly referred to as “mobile homes.”

VICTOR JOECKS: AOC makes the case for right-to-work laws

Congratulations to avowed socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for publicly demonstrating how right-to-work laws protect free speech.

Tim Burke: Has social media fueled our rush to judgement?

To see examples of the ever-increasing rush to judgment, take a look at any form of social media today and read the comments posted.

STEVE SEBELIUS: Democrats reluctant to give up redistricting power

It took Nevada Democrats 20 years to win the governor’s mansion in Carson City and both houses of the Legislature at the same time. They don’t want to give up the power of redistricting now.

Tim Burke: It’s time to get serious about term limits

Wild horses are a symbol of the Old West and part of our western heritage. The picturesque image of wild horses roaming free has been romanticized in books and movies for generations.