KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Polls And Expectations For Deficit Panel

Two new polls indicate that Americans want the 'super committee' to reach an accord that includes new taxes on the wealthy and major cuts in domestic spending. Public opinion appears cool, though, to proposals to make significant changes in Medicare. Meanwhile, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist tells Kaiser Health News that this joint panel has a chance at finding success - even in lowering Medicare spending growth. But Pro Publica outlines why the deep partisan budget battles go beyond the work of this one group.

USA Today: American's Message On Joint Debt Panel: Let's Make A Deal
In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, six in 10 of those surveyed say members of the joint panel established in the debt-ceiling negotiations should be willing to reach an accord, even if it means making major compromises. Just over a third say the members should stand firm on principle, even if doing so blocks an agreement (Page, 8/10).

Politico: Poll: Supercommittee Should Hike Taxes
Congress' new deficit super committee should push for tax increases on the wealthy and major cuts in domestic spending - but not entitlement programs, most Americans say in a new CNN poll. … Only 12 percent of the Americans surveyed said they think tax hikes on middle class and lower-income Americans should be a part of the agreement, and just 35 percent think the super committee should propose significant changes to Social Security and Medicare, the CNN poll found (Weinger, 8/10).

Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: Sen. Frist: 'Super Committee' Has 'Shot This Time' At Reining In Debt Through Medicare Spending
Kaiser Health News' Mary Agnes Carey talks to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist about the "super committee's" chance at tamping down the nation's debt. Frist says the panel has a chance to lower the debt and Medicare spending growth because the American public understands the stakes this time - the American Dream. Listen to the audio or read the transcript (8/9).

Meanwhile -

ProPublica: Why Looming Budget Battles Might Still Shut Down the Gov't
[A] politically polarized Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to approve a new federal budget. ... Two prominent congressional scholars, Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and Sarah Binder of the Brookings Institution, said the upcoming battle over the federal budget could result in agency shutdowns. ... Ornstein and Binder agreed that the agencies most likely to face shutdowns are those related to health-care reform, the environment and Dodd-Frank financial regulation ... To target health-care reform, "you'd go for HHS," Binder said (Beckett, 8/9). 

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