KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Senate’s Student Loan Skirmish Will Include Health Law Funding Fight

Although both Democrats and Republicans agree on the idea of extending the current interest rate for student loans, they want to pay for it differently. Democrats would raise Medicare payroll taxes for some high-earning stock holders. Republicans would use health law funds. Pundits predict a showdown.

Los Angeles Times: Congress Returns To Fight For The Presidency
Democrats will seek to portray Republicans as protecting the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. Republicans will use the sluggish economy and Obama's healthcare law as prime examples of big government failures. … The fight over student loan interest rates, which will resume Tuesday with a vote in the Senate, is the first skirmish: Senate Democrats will highlight Obama's plan to extend the lower rate by paying for it with a new tax on wealthier Americans. Republicans will counter with a proposal to divert money from a fund that is part of the president's healthcare law (Hennessey and Mascaro, 5/7).

The Associated Press: Senate Heads Toward Showdown Vote On Student Loans
The Senate is steaming toward a showdown on a Democratic proposal to keep student loan interest rates from doubling for 7.4 million students. In a measure of how the upcoming election is driving work in Congress these days, it's a vote Democrats won't terribly mind losing — which is probably what will happen... Republicans say they favor freezing student loan interest rates but oppose how Democrats would finance the $6 billion bill: by raising Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes on high-earning stock holders of some privately owned corporations (Fram, 5/8).

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