…then why does Nevada need protection from it? The New York Times reports:

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, has secured a special deal protecting his state against the costs of expanding Medicaid under one of the major health care bills moving through Congress.

Now Mr. Baucus has modified the bill to spare Nevada and three other states, and Mr. Reid, who faces a potentially difficult race for re-election next year, is taking credit for getting a “major increase” in federal money for his state.

All of the versions of Obamacare currently in Congress cover more uninsured Americans by expanding Medicaid. But the Baucus bill keeps its total price tag below $1 trillion by shifting the most cost to the states. As Heritage’s Center for Health Policy wrote shortly after the Baucus bill was released:

Under the Baucus bill, there is no real relief for states in the cost of the current program. States will still face a steep budget cliff in December 2010 when the federal matching formula for Medicaid payment expires. Adding additional costs through expansion of eligibility and benefits is adding people to a sinking boat. Even with the federally financed enhanced match rates, states will still face increased costs. So will individuals and families.

The Baucus bill also fails to provide the states with the flexibility they desperately need to manage their current program in an effective and cost-efficient manner.