KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

With The Clock Ticking, Obama Enters Deficit Negotiations

Even though the threat of default looms, Democrats and Republicans remain split over the possibility of tax increases and cuts to programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

USA Today: Obama Enters Deficit Negotiations As Default Threat Looms
Little more than five weeks remain before the government runs out of borrowing authority, which could eventually cause delays in contract payments, tax refunds or even Social Security benefits. A default also could spook world financial markets and prompt ratings agencies to lower the United States' triple-A credit rating. Yet the White House and Republicans in Congress remain deeply divided over potential tax increases and cuts to popular entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, that could help reduce budget deficits by more than $2 trillion over the coming decade (Wolf, 6/27).

Politico: President Obama, Mitch McConnell Square Off On Debt
Monday's White House meeting between President Barack Obama and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is an important first test for both men, each trying to draw out the other in the face of August's debt ceiling deadline. Democrats argue simple arithmetic dictates that revenues must be added to help fill the gap and get to the $2 trillion-plus target. But having established a foundation, the bigger question is whether both sides should push ahead for a much larger deal encompassing more Medicare reforms and tax revenues (Rogers, 6/26).

The Associated Press: Biden Warns GOP On Debt Ceiling Talks
Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday the Obama administration wouldn't let middle class Americans "carry the whole burden" to break a deadlock over the national debt limit, warning that the Republican approach would only benefit the wealthy. Addressing Ohio Democrats, Biden said there had been great progress in talks with Republican lawmakers on a deficit-reduction plan agreement. But he insisted that his party wouldn't agree to cuts that would undermine the elderly and middle-class workers (Thomas, 6/25).

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