KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Republican Demands, Democrats’ Strategies Emerge In Debt-Ceiling Talks

As negotiators work to identify possible spending cuts, the impasse between the two parties becomes increasingly clear. Democrats oppose any deal that would include cuts to Medicare and other entitlement programs and Republicans oppose any deal that include tax increases.     

The Washington Post: Sen. Kyl Refines Republicans' Demands In Debt-Ceiling Talks
The Senate's No. 2 Republican on Tuesday spelled out GOP leaders' conditions in the negotiations over reducing the federal deficit. … Kyl is one of six lawmakers participating in a working group led by Biden; its aim is to produce a comprehensive deficit-reduction plan in exchange for a vote to raise the debt ceiling, which the Treasury Department has said must be increased by Aug. 2. … Biden said last month that the group was on track to identify at least $1 trillion in cuts, but there is a philosophical impasse between the parties: Democrats oppose any deal that would include cuts to entitlement programs such as Medicare, and Republicans have said they will not support any plan that includes tax increases (Sonmez, 6/7).

The Hill: NY-26 Shifts The Democratic Playbook On Medicare Reforms
Democrats have hardened their stance on Medicare since the program helped propel them to an upset victory in a New York special election. Party leaders suggested as recently as last month they were open to changes in the entitlement program. Now the leadership, particularly in the Senate, say they won't accept any Medicare benefit cuts - even policies that would stop far short of the dramatic overhaul proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and included in the House GOP budget resolution. But in the early days of Democrats' attacks on the Ryan budget - before their win in the May 24 New York race - leaders said Medicare would be, in some form, "on the table" during negotiations over raising the U.S. debt ceiling (Baker, 6/8). 

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