Edit: Thank you everyone for participating in my first reddit AMA. I will be checking in periodically and will be happy to answer any questions in the future as time permits.

My short bio:

I am Mike Sprinkle (D). NV Assemblyman who sponsored a bill in 2017 to allow people to buy into state Medicaid. AMA about state politics, the future of healthcare, and Nevada!

You may have seen this state run “Medicaid –for-All” plan in articles on VOX, Politico, and NPR in 2017. Sprinklecare was vetoed by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval on the last possible day in 2017.

I’ve served in the Nevada State Legislature since 2012, focusing mostly on the Health and Human Services, Transportation, and Ways and Means Committees. I was voted majority whip by my caucus in 2017.

Nevada has a part-time legislature so I also work as a licensed paramedic and firefighter in the Reno/Sparks area.

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, my website, and now on reddit as /u/MikeSprinkle30 .

I’ll be here till 3pm my time answering your questions with the help of the r/nevadapolitics mod /u/bivalve_attack .

Ask Me Anything…

My Proof: https://imgur.com/a/cTUhf

Comments: 52 • Responses: 17  • Date: 

bivalve_attack3 karma

From r/Vegas user /u/tortoise3

link to comment

How would you vote on a state lottery (MegaMillions, Powerball)?

Are you accepting campaign funding from the gaming industry?

MikeSprinkle304 karma

On a state lottery, I don't know how I would vote at this time it would depend on the legislation and what was being asked.

fiddlestix423 karma

I had no idea Nevada had a part-time legislature. About how many hours per week does it take and how does that differ from states with a full time legislature? Thanks for your time.

MikeSprinkle305 karma

Thanks for the question!

During the legislative session, on average I work between 14 and 16 hours a day, 5 days a week. The 18 months in between legislative sessions, the amount of hours varies depending on legislators and how involved they are, but on average you could consider it another full-time job, but we don't get paid for it.

I don't know what states with full-time legislature schedules would look like because they don't have the limitations of the 120 day session like we do.

SomeGnosis4 karma

I've noticed that a lot of legislating happens in the eleventh hour on that final day--usually controversial and under-reported things that just get shoved through with no deliberation and definitely no chance for public input (not that it matters to most of our reps). Is this a tactic you are all aware of? Could a full-time assembly be held more accountable? It's like they know that in 18 months there will be a whole new batch of issues and bullshit legislation (like the solar pull-back and the health-care vote) will not be revisited.

MikeSprinkle304 karma

To your comment on the last minute tactic...

I would never choose to speak for anyone else. I would say it is obvious to me that sometimes the rush of the last few days is used to try to get legislation passed. For me, I believe in public input and transparency. So it's not a tactic that I would ever willingly use.

To your second point on a full time assembly...

A full-time assembly would take away the pressures of a defined legislative session which would allow for more discussion and debate on issues. I think we are always held accountable, every other November.

SomeGnosis2 karma

I'd say this AMA is good proof of your commitment to public discourse; some NV politicians even take their phones off the hook...

"The Tactic" is truly infuriating to citizens as it is used to either flush a turd that just plopped, or to reverse a presumed settled issue. Is there any respect for citizens in the Republican party? That is, dems always seem to seek-out public discourse and involvement while Rs are notoriously isolated and even disdainful of real interaction (except with major lobby firms, of course).

Do you have allies across the isle? Or is it as split here as on the national stage...

MikeSprinkle303 karma

I truly believe the best way to do right by my constituents is to actively seek out relationships with members of both parties, so yes I do have good relationships with Republicans as well as fellow Democrats. It is one of the nice things about Nevada that we can still work at that level at the state legislature.

SomeGnosis1 karma

That's really refreshing to hear :) Perhaps 18 months apart is good for some relationships LoL. My Grandfather was an Assemblyman here in the 70s and he really respected the crew. Grandma also told stories about wonderful parties at the Governor's mansion where all the men would smoke and drink in one side and the wives would do the same on the other late into the night. They were her favorite part of it all, minus the drive to Carson; before speed limits and G'pa had a heavy foot! Do they still have good parties?

MikeSprinkle305 karma

Thank you for those stories, I always love to hear about Nevada history and those who have served before me.

We do get together sometimes, but it's become far more business-like and social interactions don't happen nearly as often.

Seraph_Grymm3 karma

What do you think is going to be the biggest obstacle, for you, going forward (and with this administration)?

spacey604 karma

are you planning to try to bring the nv care plan back next session? if so, will anything be different?

Seraph_Grymm2 karma

(hey friend, I think you replied to me instead of /u/MikeSprinkle30 on accident. I pinged him in this comment, so hopefully he'll reply!)

MikeSprinkle302 karma

Thank you for the ping.

MikeSprinkle302 karma

Thanks, yes, absolutely we will be bringing the Nevada Care plan back.

Currently we have an expanded working group meeting to discuss what it will look like. It may be very similar legislation or we may adopt changes to the previous legislation based on the work group.

MikeSprinkle301 karma

Are you referring to the Nevada Care plan? I'm assuming you're talking about that, but feel free to clarify.

Biggest obstacle for the Nevada Care Plan... Nevada's Medicaid reimbursement rates are lower than the national average. So while people may now be able to buy in to, what potentially is an excellent health insurance package, we have to do something about the reimbursement rates.

As for the administration, I don't know how to answer that. I couldn't answer that because I don't know what their biggest obstacle would be and I wouldn't want to guess their thoughts. I'm assuming you're referring to the Federal administration because every day their thoughts change.

baboddong2 karma

How does that system vary from what Mitt Romney did in MA? Did you look into MassHealth? What did you change?

MikeSprinkle304 karma

With the Nevada care plan, an individual, ANY individual, would be given the opportunity to purchase, at a premium price, the same benefits offered to Medicaid recipients.

Currently, we are continuing discussions on if we want to put specific requirements on who could purchase this insurance package, but the original thought was that anyone would be allowed to buy the insurance plan at a premium cost. As originally written, the concept was you must be a Nevada resident and that was the only requirement.

TheHedgeHogOfSonic2 karma

Follow up question - do you have insight as to why the bill was ultimately vetoed? Since Sandoval waited until the last moment possible to veto the bill, it seems like he might have been on the fence?

MikeSprinkle302 karma

I was given a lot of indication that Governor Sandoval was seriously considering signing the bill. When the veto occurred, obviously I was saddened by that choice and could only refer you and others to his veto message describing his interest in the idea, but necessitating more research and discussion first.

I have heard outside influences, from the National level, may have been involved as well, but I have never been able to confirm that.

sierrawell2 karma

What is your official stance on Nevada's recreational cannabis law?

MikeSprinkle303 karma

My beliefs are somewhere between Tick Segerblom and Adam Laxalt...

Seriously though, the law has passed and I will now work diligently to make sure the public is safe in its utilization.

dbigjaybowski2 karma

How do you tell your "pay the bills" job that you are gonna leave for 4 months every year?

MikeSprinkle304 karma

Before I ever chose to run for office I first went to my boss and made sure that he was OK with what I was choosing to do and would allow me the latitude. I work for the fire department so it becomes incumbent on me to get the time off, which I usually do by using my personal/holiday and vacation time.

And, thankfully, the legislative session is 4 months every 2 years.

dbigjaybowski3 karma

Had you held public office before State Assembly?

MikeSprinkle305 karma

No, I had not. However, as a firefighter/paramedic I've been a public servant my entire adult life.

TheHedgeHogOfSonic2 karma

A few other states have looked into implementing similar "Sprinklecare" type legislation (and recently there was a push for similar national legislation) - have you been involved in conversations with other legislators, both in other states and at the national level, regarding these similar pieces of legislation?

MikeSprinkle305 karma

Short answer is yes.

After my bill got national recognition, multiple legislators from different states reached out to me. I haven't been able to follow what every state is proposing, mostly because their legislative sessions are just now beginning. But I will be curious to see what other similar ideas or proposals they come up with in their own legislation.

As for federal legislation, I haven't seen anything directly related to the Nevada Care plan. There has been some conversation lately about Medicare for all but that is fundamentally different from Medicaid.

A proposal did come out of the state of Hawaii that could lower or eliminate some of the barriers for a state Medicaid buy-in program, but as far as I'm aware, it has yet to even get a hearing.

lewah1 karma

What is the best part of living in the Reno area? What is your favorite part of the legislative session?

MikeSprinkle301 karma

Thank you for the questions.

The best part of living in Northern Nevada, for me, is the environment and all there is to do outside. I also love the people and the diversity in its community. I love Lake Tahoe, and the mountains, and the desert and just being able to get outside. The beauty of the region.

Favorite part of the legislative session.... Um, my most favorite part... The opportunity to learn about new issues and ultimately try to do what I think is best for the people of Nevada. That starts on day one and doesn't end until Sine Die.

spacey602 karma

what is sine die?

MikeSprinkle302 karma

Sine Die is the statutorily required last day of the regular 120 day legislative session. It is the 120th day in the state of Nevada.

Tetris4101 karma

Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck or 100 duck sized horses?

MikeSprinkle3010 karma

Huh... Uhhh. Uhhhh.

100 duck sized horses because I love horses and I would never fight them, they would become my best friends.