WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), released the following statement announcing her co-sponsorship of the State Public Option Act, legislation to create a Medicaid-based public health insurance option to strengthen the Affordable Care Act by providing Americans with a new high-quality, low-cost choice when purchasing health insurance.

“All Americans deserve access to affordable, high-quality care, regardless of their income level, and that’s exactly what the Medicaid public option would offer,” said Senator Rosen. “This legislation would strengthen our health care system by providing Americans the choice to purchase health insurance via an expanded Medicaid program, providing quality, affordable coverage to those who need it. I will continue working to protect the health and well-being of Nevadans and ensure that all those in the Silver State can access quality, affordable care.

BACKGROUND: Even with the progress of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more than 30 million people remain uninsured. The State Public Option Act will help workers who do not have employer-sponsored coverage, but may make too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid or for subsidies under the ACA, by allowing them to buy into Medicaid. The bill will also help consumers who live in counties with limited insurance carriers or who worry they may soon have no options for affordable coverage.

The State Public Option Act will allow states to create a Medicaid buy-in program for all their residents, regardless of income, giving everyone the option to buy into a state-driven Medicaid health insurance plan. Medicaid is a popular and cost-effective program with a large provider network. The program has the same positive ratings as private insurance, but provides health coverage at a much lower cost. Based on partnerships between state and federal governments, Medicaid also gives states the flexibility to adapt services and models of care based on their individual needs.

Earlier this year, Nevada became the second state in the nation to pass legislation creating a public option for health coverage.

Senator Rosen co-sponsored similar legislation last Congress.

 ###

Issues