Medicare, Entitlement Reform Continue To Trigger Political Rifts
The AP reports that, as unlikely as it may seem, the Obama administration and congressional Republicans may share some common ideas regarding Medicare costs. Still, the issue of how to address the programs - and the related proposals - still are causing rifts within the GOP.
The Associated Press: Despite Differences, Obama, GOP Eye Medicare Limit
Unlikely as it may seem, President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress actually share some common ground on the need to curb Medicare costs to fight the spiraling federal debt. Although the House GOP plan to replace Medicare with a voucher-like system got shunted aside last week, that may not be the end of the story. Embedded in both the Republican plan and in Obama's counter-proposal is the idea of putting limits on the growth of the half-trillion-dollar-a-year program - and then enforcing them (Alonso-Zaldivar, 5/9).
Politico: Freshmen Split Over Entitlement Reform
Some freshmen, like Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), want an entirely separate debate on Medicare, meaning they would rather that fight not take place against the backdrop of an increase in the government's $14.3 trillion debt limit. Yet other GOP freshmen insist that Republicans must hang onto the Medicare bargaining chip in the negotiations over the debt ceiling increase (Cogan and Bresnahan, 5/10).
The Hill: Republican Rift Widens On Medicare
A deep rift is opening wider and wider in the Republican Party over controversial proposals to cut Medicare. Senate Republicans have decided to avoid jeopardizing their chances of capturing the upper chamber in next year's elections and will not echo the House GOP's call for a major overhaul of the popular health entitlement for seniors (Bolton, 5/10).
Roll Call: Kyl Will Push For Medicare Changes
The House GOP's plan to overhaul Medicare isn't likely to go anywhere in the bipartisan debt limit talks, but that doesn't mean Medicare reform of some kind won't be included, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl told reporters Monday. The Arizona Republican said the GOP recognizes that Democrats likely will block House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's proposed Medicare overhaul, but Republicans will push for Medicare reforms nonetheless (Dennis, 5/10).
Meanwhile, Medicare politics continues to play a role in a New York special election for a congressional seat.
The New York Times: As Special House Race Intensifies, Washington Sends Backup
While the district is dominated by Republican voters, Ms. Corwin, a state lawmaker, has seen her lead diminish in recent weeks, as the Democratic candidate, Kathy Hochul, has repeatedly warned that older residents, a key voting group, would be hurt by a deficit-cutting plan adopted by House Republicans that calls for overhauling Medicare (Hernandez, 5/9).