KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama Visits House GOP, Points Out Willingness To Make Changes To Medicare

Lawmakers who attended the closed-door meeting said he focused on changes in how cost-of-living increases are calculated, but press reports indicate that partisan differences remain deep.

The New York Times: U.S. Budget Deal In Doubt; Obama's Trip To Hill Reveals Split
President Obama's meeting with a restive and resistant House Republican majority on Wednesday underscored their deep divisions over fiscal policy as both sides acknowledged that an overarching budget compromise was in doubt despite a new push by the White House. Under their budget, Senate Democrats would have the government running a deficit of nearly $600 billion in 10 years. In another sign of just how different the parties' priorities are, just before Mr. Obama arrived to meet with House Republicans, the Senate rejected a Republican effort to cut off financing for the president's signature health care overhaul in a party-line vote (Peters and Parker, 3/13).

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Obama Visit Leaves GOP House Members Skeptical
President Barack Obama visited the U.S. Capitol for a second day, this time meeting with House Republicans on their own turf to say he was sincere about trying to find compromise on the budget, immigration, and other policies. Mr. Obama, who is on a campaign to find common ground with Republicans, pointed to his willingness to change entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security, specifically mentioning that he was open to controlling costs by changing the way cost-of-living increases are calculated, according to lawmakers who attended the closed-door meeting (Hughes and Boles, 3/13).

USA Today: Obama: Differences With GOP May Be Too Wide
Obama is seeking a new debt reduction agreement that includes both budget cuts and higher taxes, the latter by eliminating loopholes that benefit the wealthy. Republicans oppose higher taxes in a new debt deal, saying they would slow economic growth; they are also seeking changes to rapidly growing entitlement programs, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (Jackson, 3/13).

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