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By waiting to lobby Nevadans, Reid risks losing health care issue

The Review-Journal’s latest Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey reveals something I’ve been talking about in recent weeks about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the subject of health care.

Simply put, he’s losing a battle off his own making with a lot of voters in this state. The poll suggests a majority of Nevadans are having a negative reaction to Reid’s efforts to reform health care.

That clearly isn’t the effect he intended coming into what promises to be a grueling election year.

Read Loretta Gatti, 60 and on Social Security disability, is typical of many readers who have reached out to me in recent weeks with genuine concern for the future of their Medicare coverage. She has Medicare Advantage and believes she is going to lose it once the sweeping changes are made in the system.

“They want to take my health care away to pay for other health care,” she says. “Isn’t that defeating the purpose? Let’s fix what’s broken.”

Weeks ago, Reid should have had representatives working small gatherings and holding public meetings to explain his vision for health reform. That would have been smart politics.

Instead, he’s staged a couple of carefully controlled forums filled with party loyalists.

There’s still a lot of time. The campaign is really only warming up. But Reid needs to send a clear, simple message throughout the state, or risk having his critics continue to send theirs.

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