Viewpoints On Debt-Ceiling Debate Center On Medicare
The New York Times: To Escape Chaos, A Terrible Deal
For weeks, ever since House Republicans said they would not raise the nation's debt ceiling without huge spending cuts, Democrats have held out for a few basic principles. There must be new tax revenues in the mix so that the wealthy bear a share of the burden and Medicare cannot be affected. Those principles were discarded to get a deal that cuts about $2.5 trillion from the deficit over a decade. ... Democrats won a provision drawn from automatic-cut mechanisms in previous decades that exempts low-income entitlement programs (7/31).
Politico: Health Care Reform Key To Debt Crisis
About one-quarter of all federal government spending goes to health care - a percentage that would rise dramatically under the president's new health care law. ... At the rate health care costs are rising, no one-time tax increase could keep up with spending on health care - taxes would have to rise again and again, devastating the economy. ... But the president's preferred approach of medical price controls and cuts to providers is doomed to fail, just as it has failed in the past. The only sure way to control costs is to reform the government's role in health care at every level by introducing choice and competition (Rep. Paul Ryan, 7/31).
The Hill: A Simple Number Poses A Big Problem In The Debt Ceiling Debate
It is hard to overstate the fiscally devastating effect that this ongoing explosion of the number of older people will have. It means the cost of Medicare - an already fiscally, and to a large degree substantively, dysfunctional program -will at least double. Social Security and soon thereafter Medicaid, as the primary provider of long-term care, will see their costs exponentially increase as well (Sen. Judd Gregg, 8/1).
Chicago Tribune: Hold Your Applause
Democrats had planned to exploit the proposal from Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to reshape Medicare. Republicans often dismiss this line of attack as "Medi-scare," and accuse Democrats of "playing the Granny card." But how can Democrats accuse Republicans of wanting to trim Medicare when their own president proposed cuts to Medicare during the debt ceiling negotiations? (8/1).