With Panelists Now In Place, Possible Dynamics Of A Deal Emerge
News outlets analyze how the health law and specific parts of the health industry will fare under various deficit panel scenarios.
Politico Pro: A Health Care Guide To The Super Committee
The special committee that will have to find $1.5 trillion in budget savings has a few members who will understand exactly what's at stake for Medicare and Medicaid. But others will only have a general idea - and it may be completely shaped by their political interests. Some of them won't have much of a health care background at all, but will have to get up to speed quickly. The 12-member panel includes committee chairmen and ranking members who have had to learn Medicare, Medicaid and President Barack Obama's health care law in depth. It also includes two party leaders who will be under tremendous political pressure not to give too much away to the other side - even as market turmoil, along with the threat of across-the-board cuts, demands that they reach a deal (8/12).
CQ Health Beat: Debt Agreement May Deal Glancing Blows To Health Law
The federal debt limit agreement gives opponents of the health care law as many as three chances to strike at its funding. But the odds are that they will be able to deal only glancing blows. The opportunities come in the form of $900 billion in cuts through the agreement's caps on discretionary spending; the provision for $1.2 trillion or more in additional deficit reduction to be negotiated by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and enacted by the end of this year; and in the automatic cuts that will kick in if the committee can't agree on all $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction (Reichard, 8/11).
Politico Pro: Is Deal Or Trigger Better For Health Industry?
Even before the super committee meets for the first time, the health sector is gaming out whether it would be better off with a deal coming together or with the triggered cuts that would kick in if no deal is reached. It's a complicated calculus - and it could put various players within the health world at odds with each other. The 12-member joint select committee is going to be responsible for coming up with at least $1.2 trillion in deficit savings by Nov. 23. If its plan passes muster with at least seven of the members, it would face a full vote in both the House and Senate by Dec. 23. If the group's plan fails, automatic spending cuts would go into effect (Haberkorn, 8/12).
Kaiser Health News: Rep. Schakowsky: Without New Tax Revenue, 'Super Committee' Unlikely To Be Successful
KHN's Mary Agnes Carey talks with Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., a member of President Obama's 2010 debt commission led by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. Schakowsky says lawmakers on the "super committee" should aim for a balanced approach, that includes new tax revenue as well as budget cuts, before asking Medicare beneficiaries to pay more (8/11).
Bloomberg: Pfizer's Read Fights Medicare Cuts In Deficit Agreement
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) Chief Executive Officer Ian Read said his company, the world's biggest drugmaker, will fight attempts to cut Medicare payments for medicines after the industry helped underwrite the U.S. health-care overhaul. Drug companies contributed $112 billion in discounts and refunds to last year's health care law, helping Democrats make up for new spending in the bill. U.S. drugmakers led by Pfizer and Merck & Co. are concerned they will be asked to give more in the debt-limit deal President Barack Obama signed Aug. 2 that requires further negotiated cuts in government expenditures (Randall, 8/10).
The Hill: AARP Urges Super Committee To Protect Entitlements
The nation's largest senior lobby wasted no time in making its views known to the debt super committee moments after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) named the final three members to the 12-person panel. AARP CEO A. Barry Rand said in a statement Thursday that the super committee should strengthen Medicare, Social Security and Medicare, and warned that cuts to those benefits "could undermine the standard of living today and for future middle-class generations" (Wasson, 8/11).