KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

What Will The Panelists Bring To The ‘Super Committee’ Negotiations?

News outlets report on the personalities and records of the people who have been named to the deficit panel, and attempt to handicap how their politics could play into the deficit-reduction dynamics.

Politico: Can Patty Murray Balance Politics And Super Committee?
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray is under scrutiny from Republicans, watchdog groups and even some liberal activists as she sits atop the powerful deficit reduction "super committee," while she plans to raise millions of dollars running the campaign arm for Senate Democrats. Critics contend that the same Washington lobbyists who are eager to protect their turf and push their agendas before the 12-member deficit committee could very well be the big donors that the Republican and Democratic campaigns need to keep their campaign war chests filled (Raju, 8/10).

Dallas Morning News: Dallas Rep. Jeb Hensarling To Help Lead Committee On Spending Cuts
Dallas Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling will co-chair a bipartisan supercommittee charged with proposing at least $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, House Speaker John Boehner announced Wednesday (Hallman, 8/10).

The Hill: Supercommittee Gives Kerry Chance To Shine, Worrying Liberals
Colleagues and Senate aides see Kerry as eager to be part of a significant legislative achievement and that concerns liberal groups and labor unions. They fear the super committee may cut entitlement programs (Bolton, 8/11).

The Hill: Toomey Emerges As Surprise Tea Party Republican Voice On 'Super Committee'
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) will serve as the de facto Tea Party voice on Congress's "super committee" following his surprise appointment to the deficit-reduction panel. … Toomey, however, emphasized the need for bipartisanship on the panel shortly after being named to it. ... Toomey, a former bond trader, has carved out a niche as a loud conservative voice in the Senate. He put forward his own budget proposal that he claimed would have balanced the budget in nine years - the fastest put forward by any lawmaker. And he emerged as a major dissenter in the debt-limit debate, functioning as a persistent thorn in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's side (Schroeder, 8/10).

Modern Healthcare: Baucus One Of Three Senators To Join Deficit Reduction Committee
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee that oversees the Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs, is one of three senators appointed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to serve on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. The Joint Select Committee, or JSC, was established in the recently signed Budget Control Act of 2011 to craft a long-term approach for reducing the nation's soaring deficit and may turn to Medicare to cut spending (Zigmond, 8/10).

Meanwhile, from the KHN Archives: Highlights Of Senator Max Baucus' News Conference on his approach to health reform (9/16/09).

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