Majority Leader Reid’s Special Deal: Good News for Nevada, Bad News for California

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has secured a special deal protecting his state against the costs of expanding Medicaid under one of the major health care bills moving through Congress.  While his actions may be good news for the people of Nevada, it’s bad news for cash strapped California.

Facing a difficult challenge in his re-election campaign next year, Majority Leader Reid’s side deal protects the citizens of Nevada from a significant portion of the costs contained in the health reform legislation being pushed by Congressional Democrats.  Unfortunately, according to the New York Times the changes came at the expense of not only California but also Florida and Illinois, which would see significant increases in state Medicaid spending under the new formula.

From the New York Times report:

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, has secured a special deal protecting his state against the costs of expanding Medicaid under one of the major health care bills moving through Congress.

…Under Mr. Baucus’s original proposal, the federal government would have paid 87 percent of the new costs in Nevada. Under the modified version, the federal government would pay 100 percent of the new costs…

Now Mr. Baucus has modified the bill to spare Nevada and three other states, and Mr. Reid, who faces a potentially difficult race for re-election next year, is taking credit for getting a “major increase” in federal money for his state.

All of the versions of Obamacare currently in Congress cover more uninsured Americans by expanding Medicaid. But the Baucus bill keeps its total price tag below $1 trillion by shifting the most cost to the states.

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