KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

GOP Puts Medicaid Payments On The Table In Student Loan Plan Debate

In an effort to pay for an extension of current student loan interest rates, Republicans leaders targeted Medicaid payments to states as a way to bridge the impasse.

Los Angeles Times: Republicans Make New Offer In Student Loan Stalemate
Under the proposal, Republicans suggested raising the amount federal employees contribute toward their retirements, a proposal Obama had included in his budget for the coming fiscal year, but is unlikely to get broad support from Democrats, who have argued that government workers have already seen their benefits trimmed and pay frozen for the last several years. Republicans also suggested a second option that would cut off the loan subsidy – and allow interest to start accruing – for students who attend college part-time or take longer to finish college. The second option would also adjust Medicaid payments to the states (Mascaro, 5/31).

The Washington Post: New GOP Proposal On Student Loans
Congressional Republicans on Thursday outlined new ways to break the political impasse that threatens to drive up student loan rates July 1. … Two alternatives were offered for paying for the student loan freeze. In one, the costs would be offset by increasing the amount paid by federal employees for their retirement. In the other, a freeze on loan rates would be paid for through a combination of items: shortening the period during which part-time students would be eligible for federally subsidized loans; limiting the ability of states to recoup Medicaid costs through taxes on providers, which would lead to a slight reduction in Medicaid use and, therefore, lower costs to the federal government. ... (Helderman, 5/31).

The Associated Press: Hill GOP Leaders Make New Offer On Student Loans
Top congressional Republicans made a new offer to President Barack Obama on Thursday in their fight over heading off a doubling of interest rates on federal college loans for 7.4 million students, proposing fresh ways to cover the effort's $6 billion cost. … House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top Republicans made their proposals in a letter to Obama. They included savings from making it harder for states to collect some federal Medicaid reimbursements (Fram, 5/31).

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