Congress Returns To Face Health Program Costs, Budget Issues
News outlets report that lawmakers are returning to work after a two-week recess, during which they faced emotional challenges from constituents regarding the deficit and the nation's entitlement programs. This week, however, a Senate vote on the House-passed Ryan budget plan is unlikely. In related political news, the debate surrounding the future of Medicare is being termed a "preview" of the 2012 election.
The Associated Press: Analysis: Bin Laden-Fed Unity May Be Short-Lived
Congress certainly could use some bipartisan goodwill these days. Lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Monday after a two-week recess that featured emotional public forums on divisive issues including deficit spending, Medicare's growing costs and the need to raise the national debt ceiling to avoid defaulting on loans (Babington, 5/3).
Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill Congress Returns To Work On Deficit Proposals And Health Programs
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey and Politico Pro's David Nather talk with Jackie Judd about Congress' return to Washington to work on proposals to lower the deficit. How to, and if, Medicare and Medicaid are reformed in the process are part of the mix of policy and politics lawmakers are considering in reducing the deficit (5/2). Watch the video or read the transcript.
The Hill: Senate Vote Unlikely This Week On Rep. Ryan's House Budget Resolution
A Senate vote on the House budget resolution authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) "probably" won't happen this week, a Democratic aide told The Hill on Monday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has vowed to force a vote on the Ryan budget in part because Democrats see a political advantage in getting Senate Republicans to go on the record supporting a resolution that calls for turning Medicare into a type of voucher system (Wasson, 5/2).
The Associated Press: Gov't Borrowing Goes On Under GOP, Obama Plans
It's all but impossible to glean from the political rhetoric, but government borrowing will grow by trillions of dollars over the next decade if the budget backed by House Republicans translates into law. The House Republicans' plan relies on repealing the year-old health care law, as well as deep cuts in Medicaid and domestic programs. Its most controversial provision, phasing out Medicare as it now exists, would not begin for 10 years and has no impact on debt in the current decade (Espo, 5/2).
Meanwhile, the Medicare debate is also causing related political activity to heat up
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Medicare Battle Is Preview Of 2012 Vote
The battle over the future of Medicare and the federal budget has been joined unusually early by independent political groups, providing an indication of the large role they are likely to play in the 2012 campaign and beyond. In just one week in April, a group on the right spent $800,000 and one on the left spent $115,000 on broadcast ads in three dozen swing congressional districts (Mason and Hamburger, 5/3).
The New York Times: When Meeting A Congressman, Leave Nothing to Chance
It was no accident that Gina Gennaro found herself outnumbered at a town-hall-style meeting the other night and shushed when she tried to press her objections to Republican plans to remake Medicare (Lacey, 5/2).