KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

House Republicans’ New Fiscal Cliff Plan Includes Raising Medicare Age

USA Today: GOP Issues 'Fiscal Cliff' Counteroffer 
House Republicans sent a counterproposal to avert the "fiscal cliff" to the White House today outlining a $4.6 trillion deficit reduction proposal without raising tax rates on the wealthiest Americans. The proposal is based on a framework outlined last year by former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, who co-chaired President Obama's debt commission, and included an increase in the eligibility age for Medicare benefits (Davis, 12/3).

Politico: Fiscal Cliff: House GOP Sends Obama Counteroffer 
The proposal, unveiled by senior GOP aides Monday during a briefing in the Capitol, assumes $800 billion in fresh governmental revenue through tax reform, $600 billion in health savings and changes to an inflation formula that determines benefit levels across government programs, including Social Security. ... Republican aides signaled that the party is certain to push to change the Medicare eligibility age and implement means testing for the program — two changes that the president privately endorsed during his 2011 debt limit negotiations with Boehner, but has yet to embrace during the latest round of talks (Sherman and Budoff Brown, 12/3).

The Associated Press: GOP Issues A New 'Fiscal Cliff' Offer To Obama
The proposal from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other Republicans comes in response to Obama's plan last week to raise taxes by $1.6 trillion over the coming decade but largely exempt Medicare and Social Security from budget cuts. ... the president would back $600 billion in spending cuts, including $350 billion from Medicare and other health programs.  (Taylor, 12/3).

Bloomberg: House Republicans Propose $2.2 Trillion Fiscal-Cliff Plan
The proposal, based on an idea floated by former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles a year ago, would also raise the eligibility age of Medicare recipients, currently 65. That would save $100 billion, according to an excerpt of Bowles’s Nov. 1, 2011, congressional testimony attached to the letter sent to Obama (Rowley, 12/3).

The Wall Street Journal: Negotiators, Cliff Divers Race Each Other
If nothing else, though, the Boehner offer will extend the post-election game of chicken under way in the capital.  ... The broader risk for both sides, though, is the same: Time may be on the side of those who want no deal at all. (Seib, 12/3).

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