Cantor Predicts Super Committee Deal; Lawmakers, Advocacy Groups Warn About Cuts
Major news organizations are examining what the deficit-cutting committee might be discussing and what the possible fallout would be.
Reuters: Cantor Confident Of US Deficit Super Committee Deal
A top Republican leader said on Sunday he was confident that a congressional "super committee" tasked with slashing U.S. deficits would reach a deal before a Nov. 23 deadline. ... "Yes, I do think that the joint select committee (super committee) will be successful," House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in an interview on the "Fox News Sunday" program (10/16).
The Washington Post: Advice From Lawmakers Pours In To 'Supercommittee'
With the clock ticking toward its Thanksgiving deadline, the supercommittee has been meeting daily behind closed doors to develop a framework that could include cuts to health programs and other mandatory initiatives such as federal worker pensions, as well as tax increases. The panel could also leave the question of taxes to the regular legislative committees (Montgomery, 10/15)
The Wall Street Journal: Debt Panel Hears What Not to Cut
Congress's deficit-cutting supercommittee was deluged with recommendations on Friday. Unfortunately for the panel, much of it was advice about what not to cut. ... [Some members] have argued strongly against further cuts in Pentagon budgets. But that worries some health-funding advocates who fear that Medicare and Medicaid would be cut if defense programs are protected. "So far, the only sure thing both sides can agree on is avoiding the military-cut sequester,'' said Chris Jennings, a health-care lobbyist. "If that is the case, the big pot left with a big 'hit me' sign will be Medicare and, particularly, Medicaid'' (Hook, 10/15).
Kaiser Health News, in collaboration with The Washington Post: Many Health Programs Face Sharp Automatic Cuts If Super Committee Deadlocks
While the committee can chop Medicaid and Medicare as part of a negotiated agreement, automatic cuts would not affect Medicaid funding; there would be a 2 percent reduction in Medicare payments to hospitals and other providers. That would make the hit to many other programs all the more severe. ... At stake is federal money that, among other things, helps HIV patients pay for lifesaving medication, funds biomedical research and helps prevent and respond to food borne illnesses and disease outbreaks (Werber Serafini and Carey, 10/16).
The Fiscal Times: Super Committee Battles Deadlines and Doubts
Here are highlights of "wish lists" or recommendations submitted to the Super Committee by Congressional committees: ... From Republican and Democrat members of the House and the Senate House Armed Services Committee: ... Establish an annual enrollment fee for TRICARE, the military health care program, as supported by Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona ... From Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee: ... Restructure the U.S. Postal Service obligation to prepay its retiree health benefits ... From the Congressional Progressive Caucus: .... Allow Medicare to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies to save $160 billion (DePaul, 10/16).
The Hill: Camp Rakes In Big Bucks After Appointment To Supercommittee
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) has raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions since his appointment to the deficit-reduction supercommittee in August. ... The healthcare industry provided Camp’s biggest source of funds. Healthcare companies and lobbyists hired to represent them gave Camp’s personal re-election fund at least $55,000 since his appointment to the supercommittee, according to fundraising data filed with the FEC. ... A spokeswoman for Camp did not respond to a request for comment Friday (Bolton, 10/15).
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.