As Federal Gov’t. Hits Debt Limit, Budget Plans Draw Attention
Politico reports that a proposed cap on discretionary spending for labor, health and human services and education programs would be felt most acutely by poor people.
The New York Times: As The Federal Government Hits Its Debt Limit, Lawmakers Spar Over Solution
The focus of budget attention was in Mr. Obama's hometown, Chicago, where Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin defended the House Republican budget he wrote, and its Medicare proposals in particular, in a speech to the Chicago Economic Club (Calmes and Hulse, 5/16).
Politico: Budget Cuts Hit Poor The Hardest
Indeed, a proposed $139.2 billion cap for the annual labor, health and education bill is about $19 billion less than the eight-year average for the same discretionary spending under former President George W. Bush - when measured in current dollars. It comes closest, in fact, to a bill negotiated in late 2000 by the man who's the White House budget director again, Jack Lew. The Back to the Future scenario is important to the current debt ceiling debate on two counts (Rogers, 5/17).
Meanwhile, planned reductions in Medicare doctor reimbursements add to budget alarm -
Fox News: Critics Of Health Care Law Raise Alarm About Medicare Doctor Reimbursements
The latest Medicare report shows tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded promises, but Rick Foster, the program's nonpartisan chief actuary, says it's actually worse than that because the report counted savings from a planned 29 percent cut in doctor's payments. "That's pretty unlikely to happen," Foster says. "Congress has overwritten smaller payment rate reductions every year in 2003 through 2011. And they're almost certain to override these again." Robert Reischauer, one of the Medicare trustees agrees. "When faced with smaller reductions in the past, Congress blinked and canceled the cuts," he said (Angle, 5/16).