On Thursday, Donald Trump took his biggest step yet to sabotage health care for the American people by ending Obamacare’s cost sharing payments to insurers. The move will cause chaos in insurance markets, raise premiums by 25 percent, and add almost $200 billion to the deficit — for no other reason than jealous spite for President Barack Obama and his signature achievement.
The pushback was immediate and furious. Democratic attorneys general from 15 states and the District of Columbia vowed to stop Trump’s cruel decision in court.
But the outrage is not coming solely from Democrats. Nevada’s GOP governor is up in arms as well.
Speaking to the Nevada Independent on Friday, Gov. Brian Sandoval called the end of the payments “devastating” and offered some harsh words for Trump:
It’s going to hurt people. It’s going to hurt kids. It’s going to hurt families. It’s going to hurt individuals. It’s going to hurt people with mental health issues. It’s going to hurt veterans. It’s going to hurt everybody. And so this is something that I’ve been very supportive during my administration in terms of expanding health care and making sure that people have access to affordable health care and I’m going to continue on that path.
Sandoval went on to say Trump’s cuts will “make it much more difficult for those people out in the rural counties and in the urban areas to be able to obtain affordable insurance.”
While virtually every other GOP governor since 2010 has used their office to attack and kneecap Obamacare for political points, Sandoval — one of the party’s few true moderates — was the only Republican who both created his own state insurance exchange and expanded Medicaid.
Sandoval has opposed every attempt by Republicans in Congress to repeal Obamacare this year, putting intense pressure on GOP Nevada Sen. Dean Heller to vote against the bills. Heller ignored him — an unpopular decision that may well cost him his seat in next year’s election.
Unfortunately, Sandoval is retiring next year, and the likely next GOP nominee for governor, state attorney general Adam Laxalt, is a far-right extremist who plays fast and loose with laws he does not like. Health care for Nevadans will be in grave doubt unless Democrats win Sandoval’s seat in 2018.
But until then, those fighting Trump’s despicable efforts to destroy health insurance markets have a rare Republican ally in Nevada — and must work with him to stand and fight.