Lowden camp calls Reid health vote wrangling ‘bribing’ senators

The campaign for Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden called efforts by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., to round up 60 Senators to move health legislation akin to bribery.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., agreed to jump off the fence in favor of the legislation after it was changed to send another $100 million in Medicaid benefits to her state.

ABC News blogged about the change, which was buried deep in the legislation and didn’t mention Louisiana by name.

Lowden consultant Robert Uithoven says that’s "using Nevada tax dollars to buy votes on his controversial health care legislation," and "demonstrates how out of touch he is with Nevada."

The headline of Uithoven’s statement accused Reid of "bribing fellow senators".

Lowden is one of at least nine Republicans seeking to challenge Reid in 2010.

Reid’s Senate office says there’s plenty of benefit for Nevada in the legislation.

In a statement they sent out after securing the 60 votes needed to move the bill to the Senate for debate, they listed benefits for Nevada. 

  • 518,000 residents who do not currently have insurance and 132,000 residents who have non-group insurance could get affordable coverage through the health insurance Exchange.
  • 311,000 residents could qualify for premium tax credits to help them purchase health coverage.
  • 328,000 seniors would receive free preventive services.
  • 58,200 seniors would have their brand-name drug costs in the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” halved.
  • 24,000 small businesses could be helped by a small business tax credit to make premiums more affordable.

Here’s a link to state-specific impacts if the legislation becomes law.

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