KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Analyzing The Impact Of Default Worries On Medicare, Medicaid

News outlets report on the potential impact that the possibility of debt default is having on Medicare, Medicaid and state budgets.

Politico: For Medicare And Medicaid, Debt Default Means Uncertainty
A default scenario is so unthinkable that not too many people have thought about what happens to Medicare and Medicaid if a deal isn't reached. One longtime Washington health hand said he had not contemplated the overall picture of what happens after Aug. 2 without a deal because, "I think it's unlikely, but it's also kind of [too] horrible" to think about (Feder, 7/21).

The New York Times: Debt Ceiling Uncertainty Puts States At Risk
The federal debt ceiling debate is already complicating life for state and local governments. Maryland is postponing a bond sale that had been scheduled for Friday, after the state was warned that its credit rating would probably be lowered in the event of a federal downgrade. California, which typically issues short-term bonds at this time of year, is working to arrange bank loans instead, citing the market uncertainty. And state officials across the nation are trying to figure out what will happen to the federal payments they rely on for everything from Medicaid to unemployment to highway construction if a deal is not reached to raise the debt ceiling by the Aug. 2 deadline (Cooper, 7/21).

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