Laxalt’s platform will fix Nevada’s health care
November 2, 2018By Dr. Stacey Hudson
As a Physician and Surgeon who has practiced in Reno for 15 years, I see every day the way government and public policy interact with our ability to deliver quality, affordable health care to our citizens.
And while there are many extraordinarily talented and dedicated medical professionals in our state who do incredible work in pursuit of that goal, the unfortunate truth is that often, government makes their work far harder than it needs to be. Of course, the negative impact of this is felt most severely by those who need care the most and are unable to get it.
Fortunately, Adam Laxalt, who’s running to be Nevada’s next Governor, recently released a detailed health care policy platform that shows he fully recognizes the problems plaguing our health care system — and, more important, that he knows how to fix them. While he expresses the common frustration at how Washington, D.C., has ineptly dealt with this issue, he refuses to throw his hands up and accept the status quo, as many politicians do. Instead, he rightly points out that there’s much than can be done at the state level to tackle this problem. And he does a superb job of outlining how he’d do exactly that.
Crucially, he zeroes in on one of our biggest health care challenges: our unacceptable and dangerous shortage of health care professionals. The facts are simply harrowing: Nevada has fewer doctors per capita than all but three states, and this is a major obstacle to consumers being able to access quality care when they need it.
That’s why it’s so encouraging to see Adam address this issue head-on. His plan calls for creating a program called “Tomorrow’s Doctors,” a loan-forgiveness program that would incentivize more medical professionals to practice in Nevada; for increasing state investments in residencies to give our medical school graduates more opportunities to stay in state; for cutting red tape that discourages skilled medical professionals in other states from relocating here; and for expanding access to online coursework for those wishing to pursue health care careers. Taken together, these steps would go a long way toward dramatically increasing Nevada’s ranks of qualified health care professionals. It’s an approach that’s long overdue, and one that would help Nevadans immensely.
There are other important elements of Adam’s plan — including confronting Nevada’s ongoing mental health and addiction crises and protecting Medicaid for those who need it the most — and it’s so refreshing, as a doctor, to see a candidate for Governor who has the right priorities for health care policy. Simply put, Adam Laxalt’s plan would increase Nevadans’ access to quality, affordable health care — and would lead our state to a healthier future.
Dr. Stacey Hudson is a Physician and Surgeon in Reno.