Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reid Leads Dems In Carving Out Favors for States

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Nevada would get help with its Medicaid bills. The elderly in Florida and New York would receive additional Medicare benefits. And workers in so-called high-risk professions such as firefighting and construction would get a break on a new insurance tax.

Those are provisions that Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, put in an $829 billion health-care bill to shield constituents from measures intended to pay for the biggest overhaul of the medical system in four decades.

The result is the new policies may be unevenly administered, with some U.S. states getting preferential treatment, a possibility that has given Republican lawmakers ammunition to attack the legislation.

“It’s going to hurt the bill and raise the level of cynicism about Washington politics,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican. “The provisions ought to be applied to all of the states.”