Reid Builds on Record of Delivering Health Care to Nevada

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Washington, D.C. – The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health insurance reform bill Nevada Senator Harry Reid is leading toward passage in the U.S. Senate, will save lives, save money and save Medicare for Nevadans.  This bill will provide affordable coverage for more than 500,000 Nevadans who do not currently have insurance and tax credits for more than 300,000 to purchase coverage.  It will lower premiums for Nevada’s 328,000 Medicare beneficiaries and provide tax credits for 24,000 small businesses in the Silver State to make coverage more affordable for their employees.

The Senate bill also represents the latest achievement in Reid’s long record of fighting for a healthy Nevada.  From securing funds to build the new Veterans Medical Center in Southern Nevada, to providing health insurance for uninsured children, and ensuring just compensation for Nevada Test Site workers, Reid has always worked with the health, safety and security of Nevadans at the forefront of his mind.

“Throughout my career in the Senate, I have worked on numerous pieces of legislation that presented the opportunity to bring funding and projects to Nevada that helped improve the health of all Nevadans,” Reid said.  “The health insurance reform bill nearing passage in the Senate will be of tremendous benefit for Nevada, the second most uninsured state in the nation, and will successfully build on our effort to improve the quality of life of Nevadans.”



$540 Million For A New Veterans Hospital In Southern Nevada. Since 2006, Sen. Reid has obtained $540 million for the construction of the new Veteran’s Medical Center in Southern Nevada. Sen. Reid’s work will result in both more Nevada veterans receiving the care they need and deserve and also an improvement in the care the VA is able to give. Additionally, the size of the construction project has provided jobs for hundreds of Clark County residents.  [Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations FY2006-FY2008]

More Than $8 Million For University Medical Center. Sen. Reid has obtained more than $8 million for the University Medical Center for burn care, radiology therapy, oncology.  He secured an additional $1.5 million in December 2009 for the University Women’s Care and Birth Center.  The University Women’s Care and Birth Center will help to address the current crisis of access to women’s health and maternal-child care in Clark County.  Specifically, the requested funds would support the renovation of a space that would house services for women’s healthcare and maternal-child care (birthing center) at University Medical Center. This would allow for the consolidation of women’s health and maternal-child care services and with family resource services in a freestanding facility owned by UMC to be operated in collaboration with professional medical providers. [Energy & Water; Omnibus and Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations FY2001-FY2010]

More Than $10 Million For The Nevada Cancer Institute. Since 2003, Sen. Reid has brought home more than $10.4 million in federal funds for the Nevada Cancer Institute. Cancer is a leading cause of death in Nevada.  Nevadans with cancer and their caregivers face a number of geographic and other challenges accessing care and other cancer-related resources, including education and prevention.  The Nevada Cancer Institute, which has been recognized by the state Legislature as the official cancer institute for the State of Nevada, supports education and outreach services, including cancer navigation, to Nevadans.  These funds would allow the Nevada Cancer Institute to expand these efforts to meet needs across the state of Nevada including rural frontier communities, Indian reservations and urban areas. [Defense, Energy & Water, Labor, HHS and Education and Omnibus Appropriations FY2003-FY2010]

Nearly $2 Million For Treatment And Investigations For The Fallon Cancer Cluster. Sen. Reid has obtained more than $1.8 million to provide programs for cancer survivors and families, educators, and medical professionals in Churchill County. Additionally, some funding has gone for a cancer registry and independent studies into the causes and effects of the Fallon cancer cluster. [Energy & Water and VA-HUD Appropriations FY2000-FY2003]

More Than $500,000 To Combat The Hepatitis Crisis. Last year, Sen. Reid secured more than $500,000 for the Southern Nevada Health District to help treat and combat the hepatitis crisis of 2008. [Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations FY2009]

Nearly $600,000 For A New Emergency Department At The Boulder City Hospital. Just this year, Sen. Reid secured $571,000 for the Boulder City Hospital to support the construction of a new, updated, higher capacity emergency department that would improve both access and quality of emergency care in the area. [Omnibus Appropriations FY 2009]

More Than $11 Million For The UNR School Of Medicine. Sen. Reid has directed more than $11.55 million to the University of Nevada Reno’s School of Medicine since 2004. In FY2010, Reid secured $800,000 for the School’s Nevada Diabetes Center to create a regional center of excellence where patients with uncontrolled diabetes can receive state-of-the-art management directed by a team of appropriately trained specialists. It will reduce diabetes related complication rates, helping to control costs associated with diabetes management and to improve quality of life for patients living with diabetes. Reid obtained another $750,000 in FY2010 to support construction and the purchase of equipment so the Center for Molecular Medicine may pursue its goal of facilitating the immediate transfer of new knowledge to effective patient treatment and physician education, through the combined efforts of researchers, clinicians and educators at the University. [Defense, Energy & Water, Labor, HHS and Education and Omnibus Appropriations FY2004-FY2010]

Nearly $5 Million For Telemedicine In Rural Nevada. Sen. Reid has leveraged his position to acquire more than $4.98 million in various telemedicine projects to support Nevada’s rural communities. Some of these projects include: the UNLV Telemedicine Network, tele-health demonstration initiatives, high-speed bandwidth for rural telemedicine and an expansion of the Nevada Rural Hospital Partners’ rural telemedicine program. [Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations FY2000-FY2008]

Nearly $500,000 For St. Rose Dominican Hospital In Henderson. In 2008, Senator Reid was able to direct $492,000 in appropriations spending to the St. Rose Dominican hospital in Henderson. [Energy & Water Appropriations FY2008]

More Than $1.2 Million For Dental Health Funding For Nevada. More than $1.26 million has come to two different Nevada entities in support of dental health due to the work of Sen. Reid. In 2004, Sen. Reid obtained $1 million in federal funds for the University of Nevada’s School of Dental Medicine to purchase equipment and technology. In 1008, Sen. Reid secured another $263,614 for the Huntridge Teen Center and Nevada Dental Association fso they could purchase equipment and coordinate care for the Huntridge Dental Clinic in Las Vegas that provides dental care to teenagers who would not otherwise have access to such care. [Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations FY2004-FY2008]

Nearly $4 Million For Nevada Public Health Education. Sen. Reid has used his influence to gather $3,979,000 in federal appropriations for School of Community Health Sciences (Public Health) and the Health Sciences System of the Nevada System of Higher Education—a collaboration among the eight Nevada higher education institutions. The funding for these projects was dedicated for construction and equipment purchasing for nursing clinics, increased staff throughout the state and research into emerging diseases. [Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations FY2005-FY2008]

Nearly $500,000 For Clark County Health Projects. In 2002 and 2003, Sen. Reid obtained $338,000 for the Clark County Health District in support of the Public Health Laboratory and another $160,000 to the Clark County School District for nursing and home health-aid instruction. [Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations FY2002-FY2003]

$500,000 For A Rural Nevada Mobile Mammography Unit. Sen. Reid directed $500,000 in federal funds to Nevada Rural Health Centers for the Nevada Mobile Mammography unit for a “mammovan.” [VA, HUD Appropriations FY1999]


Review-Journal: Nevada Medicaid Funding “Represents The Largest Percentage Increase Of Any State.” In February 2009, the Review-Journal reported, “The $450 million Nevada’s getting in Medicaid assistance from the stimulus bill represents the largest percentage increase of any state.” [Review-Journal, 2/23/09]

Reid Secured The Largest Percentage Of Medicaid Funding For Nevada Of Any State. In March 2009, the Sun reported, “Reid’s staff engineered a sizable increase in Medicaid money for Nevada — the largest percentage increase of any state. Health care costs are an enormous state burden — one that worsens with unemployment as former workers rely on state-funded medical care. Reid, Ensign and other lawmakers from hard-hit states had lobbied for an allocation that would give them a bonus over states that were not suffering with as high a rate of unemployment. But other states were pushing back and successfully altered the bill in a Senate committee. Even so, Reid and Ensign worked the Senate floor to ensure hard-hit states got extra help. In the final negotiations Reid carried out, that provision was included, as well as a separate one that ensured the formula would be based on state’s greatest recent patient load, rather than when times were better.” [Las Vegas Sun, 3/1/09]

REID PASSED LEGISLATION SETTING ASIDE LAND TO ALLOW AN EXPANSION OF THE NEVADA CANCER INSTITUTE. In March 2009, the Sun reported that as a part of the omnibus public lands bill, “Public lands will be freed for development near the Nevada Cancer Institute.” Specifically, the bill provided 80 acres for the Nevada Cancer Institute to build a new facility dedicated to developing new cancer treatments. When he signed the bill, President Obama said, “Obviously I’ve got to single out the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, for her extraordinary leadership, but also our Leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, who worked so diligently on this bill and made sure that it got done … Many senators and congressmen here deserve enormous credit for making this bill possible. I’m grateful to all their hard work. As I mentioned before, Harry Reid made this a top priority. He made sure this was the first bill the Senate passed this year. This day would not be possible without his tireless dedication to protecting our treasured lands.” [Las Vegas Sun, 3/31/09; Reid Press Release, 3/30/09; Obama Speech, 3/30/09]


Reid Led The Senate In Passing Historic Expansion Of CHIP. In January 2009, the Senate passed the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009. Days later, President Obama signed the bill into law. [Vote 31, 1/29/09]

Expanding CHIP Would Provide Coverage To Four Million Children, Including 37,000 In Nevada. According to the White House, the the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 extended coverage to four million children nationwide. According to a January 2009 report from Families USA, the bill would also expand S-CHIP to make 37,000 additional Nevada children eligible. [White House Blog, 2/1/09; Families USA, January 2009]


Review-Journal: Reid “Has Spearheaded Efforts In Congress” To Help Cancer-Stricken Test Site Workers. In June 2009, the Review-Journal reported, “Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has spearheaded efforts in Congress to give cancer-stricken Nevada Test Site workers the same ‘special exposure cohort’ status given to workers from the days of atmospheric nuclear tests in the 1950s and early 1960s. That status does not apply to workers from the underground testing years between 1963 and 1992.” [Review-Journal, 6/15/09]

Review-Journal: “In January 2008, Reid told the advisory board that dose reconstructions performed by NIOSH contractors are based on ‘flawed and inadequate science.’ Reid wrote the advisory board five months later expressing ‘strong support’ for the test site workers’ petition.” [Review-Journal, 10/5/09]

Reid Led Petition Effort To Give Test Site Workers The Designation That Would Make Them Eligible For Compensation. In a February 2007 press release, Senator Reid’s office announced, “Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada announced a petition that will put Nevada Test Site workers, who contracted cancer from their work during the under-ground nuclear tests, one step closer to receiving the compensation they deserve. The goal of this petition is to increase the number of former Test Site workers who receive Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) designation. The SEC is a legal designation that simplifies and expedites the compensation process for workers within the cohort. Currently, only people who worked at the site for 250 days or more between 1951 and 1962 fall in this category. That represents only about a third of all claimants. Reid’s goal is to expand the SEC designation to all Test Site workers who may have been put in harm’s way between 1951 and 1993. ‘This is the right thing to do for Nevada Test Site Workers who have become ill as a result of their work,’ said Reid. ‘These are atomic energy veterans who deserve nothing but the best in return for the contributions they made to protect our country. I look forward to the day when I can announce that they and their families will receive the compensation they truly deserve.’” [Reid Press Release, 2/5/07]

Review-Journal: “After Nine Years Of Denials And Setbacks In A Government Program To Compensate Former Nevada Test Site Employees For Work-Related Illnesses, The Retired Nuclear Weapons Workers And Survivors Got Some Good News.” In November 2009, the Review-Journal reported, “After nine years of denials and setbacks in a government program to compensate former Nevada Test Site employees for work-related illnesses, the retired nuclear weapons workers and survivors got some good news this week. The agency charged with reconstructing their exposures to radioactive and toxic materials, which is key to proving or disproving their claims, has reversed its previous stance, saying instead the historic data needed for dose reconstructions are insufficient. After a review of the tedious process, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health is recommending special status that will give more than 500 former Nevada Test Site workers the benefit of the doubt.” [Review-Journal, 11/27/09]

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