Undercurrent

On anniversary of benefits, groups worry about fate of Medicare, Medicaid

By: - July 30, 2018 4:35 pm
happy birthday medicaid

Jasmine Pedrosa, a local doctor, talks about the importance of health care at a press conference regarding the 53rd anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare. Courtesy photo.

happy birthday medicaid
Jasmine Pedrosa, a local doctor, talks about the importance of health care at a press conference regarding the 53rd anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare. Courtesy photo.

Fifty-three years ago, Medicare and Medicaid were born to ensure vulnerable populations — low-income seniors, people with disabilities, children — have access to health care.

On its anniversary Monday, progressive groups such as Battle Born Progress, Mi Familia Vota and Planned Parenthood Affiliates warned about continual risks to those programs.

“Over a million Nevada residents enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid who face threats to their coverage because of the cost of the Trump GOP tax cuts,” says Will Pregman, an organizer with Battle Born Progress.

The press conference came on the heels of Americans for Tax Fairness releasing its findings about the need for Medicare and Medicaid in Nevada. The report also attacked Congressional Republicans’ proposal to balance the budget by cutting entitlement programs such as Medicare.

This is not the first time these groups have spoken out about health care concerns.

Progressive organizers have long attacked Sen. Dean Heller for his continual opposition toward the Affordable Care Act. Fears have been exacerbated with the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States, which could potentially poise the court to undo the health care bill.

“We need to make sure that both our senators hear our opinions about Brett Kavanaugh,” says Laura Packard, representative for Health Care Voter and cancer survivor who relied on the Affordable Care Act. “We need to stop the cuts to Medicaid and Medicare that Congress has brought up again and again for the millions of Americans who depend on it.”

Other speakers included those who rely on such programs, such as Alex Camberos, who is also an organizer with Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates.

“I’m alive today because of Medicaid,” he says. “Without it, I would be another statistic of someone who did not receive care in time to treat a preventable death.”

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Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle

Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.

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