Repealing health care law is a step backward
The Affordable Care Act has already begun to bring relief to Nevada families. Parents can now include their adult children on their policies until age 26. That savings can be significant.
Because of the Affordable Care Act right now, no child in your family, your neighbor's family, or your country can be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions such as asthma or a birth disability. That worry is gone and will be gone for everyone by 2014, but not if the Republicans are successful in their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Under the act, no more can insurers deny paying your claim, and rescind the policy because you had forgotten to mention a minor health incident years ago on the application. Yes, insurers did that regularly.
Already the Affordable Care Act is providing a subsidy to small business employers to assist in their costs for providing health insurance to employees. Seniors on Medicare already see increased prescription drug coverage. Under the act, Nevadans don't have to worry about losing their health insurance should they lose their job.
The Affordable Care Act is truly a measure of freedom from worry. Repeal takes that away and returns us to the bad old days with insurance companies in charge.
Charge feds to store nuclear waste
My first solution for balancing Nevada's books without cuts or tax increases had to do with eliminating the carrot that attracts undocumented immigrants to our state, which would eventually save Nevada about $500 million to $700 million a year and eliminate its unemployment problem.
My second politically controversial idea has to do with nuclear waste. Nevada could charge our federal government $1 billion a year storage fee to store all the nuclear waste this country has to offer. This fee would be on top of all federally funded costs to build storage facilities, to monitor and service it while in storage, to ship it and to maintain and supply ample security for all facets of its delivery and storage.
The nuclear waste should not be stored in the ground, but rather in secure bunkers similar to those in Hawthorne with thick concrete floors. And all bunkers should have radiation monitoring devices installed that could be monitored from a central facility.
This program would create hundreds of middle-class, paying jobs for Nevadans, balance our books and leave us with about a $500 million buffer for each two-year budget cycle or about one billion dollars when added to the savings from the undocumented immigrant plan.
Would our federal government be willing to fork over $1 billion a year to Nevada plus absorb all other costs to store this country's nuclear waste in Nevada? I believe the answer is yes.
James R. Parker