KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Grand Bargains, Fall-Back Plans And Short-Term Deals – Debt Talk Status Checks

The status of ongoing negotiations to raise the debt ceiling changes daily, and news outlets report on the political and policy dynamics in play.

The Washington Post: As Debt Talks Intensify, Obama Opens Door To Short-Term Deal To Buy More Time
The contentious budget talks that have dominated Washington for months intensified Wednesday, prompting President Obama to say he would accept a short-term hike in the debt ceiling if it gave lawmakers time to finalize a comprehensive deal. … The White House concession added to a whirlwind week in which negotiations appeared to be changing daily. At first, leaders were focused on a fallback plan that would raise the debt ceiling but do little to control future borrowing. Then they started considering an ambitious, but complicated, bipartisan strategy for raising taxes and cutting cherished health and retirement programs (Kane and Montgomery, 7/20).

Los Angeles Times: Obama Again Presses For A 'Grand Bargain' On Debt Ceiling
During the meeting with Boehner and Cantor, the president reiterated his opposition to a short-term deal that Cantor and some Republicans have pursued. Obama also spelled out the terms under which he would consider a short-term arrangement. … Democratic leaders voiced support for a larger package, as long as it did not "balance the budget on the backs of seniors through cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries," according to a House aide, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly. Liberals in the House have complained that the Gang of Six's outline would alter the federal safety net and entitlement programs (Memoli, Mascaro and Parsons, 7/21).

Los Angeles Times: Opposition To A Deal With Obama Creates Problems For GOP
As the debt ceiling debate enters its final stages, House Republicans face increasing political isolation in their opposition to sweeping budget reforms that President Obama has pushed for and polls show most Americans now prefer. … The party's enthusiasm for budget cuts over compromise may leave Republicans with less than they could have otherwise achieved. Obama had proposed a 3-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases, even carving into Medicare and Social Security while drawing opposition from within his own ranks (Mascaro, 7/21).

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