State News

September 21, 2009

Deal questions Reid's motives

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., has questioned the motives of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, for seeking special protection for his state in the Senate version of the health care reform legislation.

Reid issued an announcement publicly showing that he is using his position to protect Nevada.

“I spoke to the chair of the Finance Committee and he assured me that this bill will be improved for Nevada before he takes it to the committee for final mark-up next week,” Reid said in a statement released this week. “Let me be very clear, I will not bring a health insurance reform bill to the Senate floor that is not good for Nevada.”

At the same time, Deal said the Senate proposal would require a 2.6 percent increase in the state share of the Medicaid budget from the state of Georgia, at a time when the state continues to face reduced revenues.

“The plan offered by Sen. Baucus was supposed to be an improvement over what has been passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee,” said Deal, who is ranking member of the Health Subcommittee. “This is placing an additional burden on states at a time when they can’t afford it. We have to put a stop to this now,” Deal said.

Deal said the Senate leader appeared to be playing politics to favor Nevada over the other 49 states and the District of Columbia.

“Senator Reid should know that this legislation is not only bad for Nevada, but it is bad for the rest of the United States,” Deal said.

Deal said he and other lawmakers clearly heard from their constituents during August.

“We have heard the voices of Georgia voters during the recess and let me assure you, they did not whisper,” he said.

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