Sunday, June 25, 2017

Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, Target of America First Policies PAC

I don't even know this Dean Heller dude. He was the junior senator from Nevada, until Harry Reid retired. Now he's up for reelection in 2018, and extremely vulnerable. A Republican, he's afraid to vote for ObamaCare repeal, as apparently the state's poor have been helped by the law.

Of course, the new Senate-bill is expected to improve healthcare outcomes for lower-income Americans, helping more people afford insurance and get off the decrepit government Medicaid dole. But all the Democrats can do is scream, "PEOPLE WILL FUCKING DIE!"

In any case, at NYT, "Health Law Repeal Leaves Nevada Republican Torn Between Lawmakers" (via Memeorandum):

WASHINGTON — Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, is the man everyone wants. This has not been a good thing for him.

Brian Sandoval, the governor of Mr. Heller’s home state, is a Republican, but he is counting on Mr. Heller to provide what could be a crucial vote to maintain President Barack Obama’s health care law, which has been a boon for the working poor in Nevada. Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader who this week will be rounding up votes to fulfill his party’s biggest promise of the last decade — repealing the Affordable Care Act — is trying to prevent Mr. Heller from undermining that goal.

Democrats also want Mr. Heller, but in the form of an unemployed senator. As the only Republican who is up for re-election next year in a state that Hillary Clinton won, he may be their only shot at picking up a seat. Democrats and health care interest groups have been unloading on Mr. Heller all spring with no end in sight.

Far-right Republicans in his state — who strongly support President Trump — also have their eyes on Mr. Heller to see if he will abandon the president. Already a group that Vice President Mike Pence has supported is preparing a seven-figure ad campaign against the senator.

On Saturday afternoon, Mr. Trump posted on Twitter, venting about Mr. Heller and other Republicans who are not supporting the Senate bill.

On Friday, Mr. Sandoval acknowledged the obvious. “He’s in the eye of the storm here,” Mr. Sandoval said at a news conference in Nevada as Mr. Heller stood next to him, looking vaguely miserable as Mr. Sandoval announced his opposition to the Senate bill. The legislation could affect 210,000 Nevada residents insured through the health care law’s expansion of Medicaid.

On Friday Mr. Heller said that he, too, was against the bill as it is currently drafted, leaving himself just enough wiggle room to continue his longstanding practice of being the senator in the middle, the man who wants to see the Medicaid program phased out, except when he decides he doesn’t. (Mr. Heller has taken both positions publicly.) He has also voted to take away money from Planned Parenthood, but tells some select audiences that “I have no problems with federal funding for Planned Parenthood.”

Mr. Heller, whose spokeswoman said he was not available for an interview, said at the news conference Friday that “this bill that’s currently in front of the United States Senate is not the answer — it’s simply not the answer.” He said, “It’s going to be very difficult to get me to a yes.”