Nevada’s governor concerned about possible cuts to medicaid | RecordCourier.com

Nevada’s governor concerned about possible cuts to medicaid

by Geoff Dornan
gdornan@nevadaappeal.com

Gov. Brian Sandoval said he's concerned about the impact of any Trump administration cuts to Medicaid on Nevadans.

But he said he was encouraged by the president's address to Congress in which he said he wants to make sure people keep their insurance.

He said Nevada has 300,000 people who qualified for Medicaid under the expansion of that entitlement.

"Any type of reduction in benefits would be harmful to our state," he said. "Governors similarly situated to Nevada all agree they want to protect people who have coverage."

Sandoval said governors who didn't opt in to the expansion of Medicaid eligibility also are concerned.

"It's a challenge to protect those states that opted in and not punish those that did not," he said.

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Sandoval said he can't really comment on the GOP/Trump plan to replace the ACA at this point because he doesn't know exactly what's in it. That, he said is now being analyzed by his Health and Human Services staff. But he said his focus will remain on protecting coverage for those 300,000 Nevadans.

He said the subject of recreational and medical marijuana is also a concern in the wake of administration statements indicating they may go after states that allow marijuana use — especially recreational marijuana.

He said he's hoping to have a conversation with the U.S. Attorney General about what he described as an interesting issue that involves state's rights. In Nevada, medical marijuana is in the state constitution and Sandoval said he believes recreational marijuana is part of Colorado's constitution.

Further, with passage of the ballot question legalizing personal pot use in Nevada, he pointed out he included marijuana tax revenue totaling $100 million in his proposed budget.

Sandoval said thus far his contacts with the Trump administration have been positive. He said it took just three days to get a flood disaster declaration from FEMA for western Nevada. He said when he was in Washington, D.C., last week for the National Governor's Association meetings, he had excellent conversations with cabinet members on Nevada issues.