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Nevadans Plan Multiple Protests as Senate Debates GOP Plans

Hundreds of thousands of Nevadans benefited from the Medicaid expansion, which could be cut under the GOP health plan. (goir/iStockphoto)
Hundreds of thousands of Nevadans benefited from the Medicaid expansion, which could be cut under the GOP health plan. (goir/iStockphoto)
July 26, 2017

LAS VEGAS - Some Nevadans, concerned by Sen. Dean Heller's crucial swing vote to open debate on repealing the Affordable Care Act, are planning a series of protests this week.

The Nevada Workers Party held a "Hey Nevada, Get Contentious" vigil on the state Capitol steps Tuesday night, and the group Organizing for America is to hold a second event called "Save Us Sandoval" from 6 a.m. to noon today at the governor's mansion.

Pat Lynch, an organizer with Indivisible Northern Nevada, said she thinks Heller, R-Nev., caved to pressure from President Trump.

"He's always been a little wishy-washy. We had hoped that he had developed a stronger spine, but it doesn't look like that's true," Lynch said. "It's clear that the public has to speak up."

Heller has said he will oppose any bill that doesn't "improve Nevadans' lives." Two large rallies are planned for Saturday in Las Vegas and Reno, both to convince him to oppose the repeal. The're part of a nationwide day of action, with rallies in 125 cities. Details are on the website ourlivesontheline.org.

Lynch said Nevada was one of the first states to expand Medicaid and thus has a lot to lose, particularly with a straight repeal.

"Should that go away, not only would hundreds of thousands of people lose both their health insurance and their health, many would die," she said, "and simultaneously, there's every good possibility it could bankrupt the state."

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., opposes any repeal and has been invited to speak at the Reno event on Saturday. The rallies also kick off a bus tour, known as the "Drive For Our Lives," with stops in Reno on Monday and Las Vegas the next day. The bus will carry progressive leaders from groups speaking out at each stop against the GOP health-care plans.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV