Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Medicare & Medicaid Safe for Now, Future Disagreements Loom

Medicare Could Be On Table Later

From Kaiser Health News:  Medicaid Untouched, Medicare Spared -- For Now -- In Debt Deal.  "KHN's Mary Agnes Carey talks with Jackie Judd about the lack of Medicare and Medicaid cuts in the initial round of cuts tied to the debt ceiling increase, and about what sort of cuts the programs could be open to later in the year."  "Medicare is not touched in this first part of the deal, the $900 billion in savings, but there is a possibility under certain circumstances that Medicare could be affected later this year.   What are those potential circumstances?"  Watch the video or read the transcript.

Current Agreement

As promised, here is an impartial, non-partisan summary of the debt ceiling agreement;  this is from the Congressional Budget Office.

Next Up in the Fight to Preserve Medicare

"The debt limit fight is over, but the fight over entitlement programs will continue for months.  In the weeks ahead, the leaders of both parties in both the House and Senate will name three members each to a new committee tasked with reducing the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.  The ultimate makeup of that committee is key.  It will determine whether this Congress will pass further fiscal legislation, and, thus, what the major themes of the 2012 election will be."  House Democrats plan on appointing people who will oppose all entitlement benefit cuts.

Be sure to monitor the appointments from both sides to see whether we will once again be headed toward stalemate and confrontation, whether extreme and inflexible ideology will set the agenda once again, in spite of the clear preferences of the large majority of Americans who want, not only good sense from Congress, but also protection of Social Security and Medicare.

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