Reid's Medicaid Deal For Nevada Draws Criticism

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's deal to hold down Nevada's Medicaid costs is under fire. 

Politico: "Reid moved swiftly to ensure that his home state of Nevada wouldn't be hurt by Medicaid changes included in the health care reform bill moving through the Senate Finance Committee. Now some of his Democratic colleagues are demanding the same treatment for their states."

The health care measure drafted by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., "would expand Medicaid to cover families of four with an income of roughly $29,000 per year and people with an income less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level. When Baucus first floated the bill in mid-September, Reid strongly criticized it because the federal government would pick up just 87 percent of the new costs, leaving the rest to the states. But Baucus later modified the language to ensure that the federal government paid 100 percent of the costs in Nevada. Reid's state — along with Michigan, Oregon and Rhode Island — has been given the added protections because it has been hit especially hard by the recession" (Raju, 10/1).

Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Sun reports on mixed messages in attacks on Reid's deal: "As Republicans ramp up their campaign against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the party's Nevada and Washington operations can't seem to get their stories straight on a line of attack. In Nevada, Reid is badgered for not doing enough for the state — not using his power as majority leader to bring home enough bacon. In Washington, he is being pilloried for using his clout to cut a better Medicaid deal for Nevada in the health care legislation. On the Senate floor Wednesday, Reid was decried for wielding his influence for Nevada's gain. ... But back in Nevada, Republicans have been leveling a steady line of attack against that perceived Reid strength" (Mascaro, 10/1).

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