Within Debt Ceiling Debate, House Dems ‘Just Say No’ to Medicare Cuts

Democrats don’t want them. House Minority Leader Pelosi reminded Obama about them. The GOP wants them “on the table”. What will drive Obama’s conscience with regard to possible cuts to Medicare and Social Security entitlements as part of the debt ceiling talks — due to last all weekend?

Democrats, too, have a point beyond which they will not go – cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits – and want the president to keep it in mind as he prepares for a new round of negotiations at the White House on Sunday. … For that reason, a closed caucus meeting on Friday was a last chance for many Democrats to signal the White House and their own leaders what it will take to win their votes, once a deal comes to the floor.

Dems essentially do not want benefits, per se, redefined or recalculated. The Dem legislative caucus is open, however, to changes in which potential increases in spending due to waste or fraud are identified. The GOP will not vote for anything that will raise the debt ceiling, since many of those frosh legislators ran on such campaign promises. Dems seem to have the advantage here, however slight, as most Americans, in recent polling, have looked negatively on any perceived absolute cuts to Medicare as a way of balancing the budget. But, if the WH and the president agree to bipartisan means that rely, in part, upon Medicare changes, the issue could be a costly one for the Dems in the next election. Should be an interesting 48 hours for the president and Congress. | LINK

09. July 2011 by Michael Douglas, MD, MBA
Categories: CMS, Politics & The Law | Tags: , , , | Comments Off