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Heller puts party ahead of Nevada

Editor:

Lamentably, I cannot support Senator Dean Heller’s bid for re-election.

In a country rife with political tribalism, Nevadans must depend on their elected officials to hold fast and represent their constituents in the face of pressure from party leadership. It appears to me now that Senator Heller’s allegiances are with the party’s national agenda rather than the interests of Nevadans.

The most demonstrative case is that of healthcare in Nevada. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) did not fix the healthcare crisis in this state, but it gave low income households reprieve through subsidy, expanded healthcare coverage through Medicaid, and decreased the number of uninsured Nevadans by half. Many Nevada legislators recognized the importance of key provisions of the ACA, Governor Brian Sandoval included, and were concerned over efforts to repeal the ACA.

It was truly admirable to see Senator Heller stand in solidarity with Nevadans on the healthcare issue, yet that admiration was short lived. After being summoned to a meeting with President Trump and Republican Party leadership, Senator Heller quickly changed his stance and even went so far as to co-sponsor the Graham-Cassidy amendment which would have arguably undermined ACA coverage further.

Another case involves internet regulation. Internet access among rural Nevadans, myself included, is oftentimes limited to one internet service provider (ISP). The decision by the FCC to revoke Title II Net Neutrality statutes, a move that was unwaveringly supported by Senator Heller, allows ISPs to dictate what content and services you are allowed to access, which is a disconcerting notion when ruralites do not have multiple ISPs to choose from. Much as an electric utility company charges for power consumed, not what appliances you use, an ISP should not have the power to block or throttle the services you use via the internet. The fact that Senator Heller chose to advance a political agenda that is far removed from the needs of Nevadans is disheartening.

We need politicians that stand by those they represent, even when the entire weight of the political machine is bearing down on them. Dean Heller is not that politician.

Andrew Church

Elko

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