A day without Harry Reid cutting a deal to favor a friend or stab an enemy in the back would be like a day without, well, corruption.
As if all those other special tax breaks and giveaways — tax breaks for windmills, tax breaks for Nascar, subsidies for rum and algae, pork for Hollywood films and electric scooters, to name a few — Harry had to work in a measure that screws over a competitor of one of his friends.
According to The Wall Street Journal today, Harry dropped in a last-minute provision to the Medicare reimbursement for doctors using something called a Gamma Knife, which is produced by the Swedish company Elekta, which is a competitor of Varian Medical Systems, which sells Linac. Both machines are used to attack cancer tumors with radiation. Reimbursement, according to the WSJ, had been nearly double for the Gamma Knife because it usually required only one treatment, while Linac sometimes required multiple uses.
Harry’s insert cut Elekta’s reimbursement rate by 58 percent.
The WSJ says nine years ago, Reid got Varian funds to work with the Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies at UNlV and Varian has donated $1 million in equipment to UNLV. Varian is partnering with the university on a multimillion-dollar Accelerator Center.
Adam Jentleson, a Reid spokesman, told the WSJ the insert “saved money, restored equity to an unfair payment regime, and most importantly, it protects Nevada jobs.”
And gains points for Reid from this friends who stand to make a considerable amount of money and owe a big favor to Harry.