Super Committee Ends Talks, Cuts For Health Programs May Result
Late Monday afternoon, the co-chairmen of the congressional super committee announced that their talks had ended in stalemate.
New York Times: Panel Fails to Reach Deal On Plan For Deficit Reduction
As part of the legislation written to raise the debt ceiling earlier this year, a failure of Congress to reach a deal by the end of the year would result in $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts in domestic and military programs over 10 years, starting in January, 2013 (Steinhauer, Pear and Cooper, 11/21).
The Washington Post: Supercommittee Announces Failure In Effort To Tame Debt
President Obama warned that he would veto any attempt to undo a resulting round of across-the-board spending cuts. ... In a statement at the White House following the supercommittee’s announcement, Obama said, "There will be no easy off-ramps on this one." He called on Congress to figure out how to achieve deficit-reduction so that the automatic cuts are not triggered (Kane, Montgomery and Branigin, 11/21).
Los Angeles Times: Super Committee Fails To Agree On Deficit-Reduction Plan
Republicans refused to substantially raise taxes and wanted to cut federal deficits largely by reducing spending on Medicare and other domestic programs. Democrats wanted a more equal balance of new taxes and spending cuts -- a level of taxation the GOP could not accept (Mascaro, 11/21).
CNN: 'Super Committee' Fails To Reach Agreement
Republicans were also bitterly critical of Democrats for their alleged failure to consider more serious reforms to popular entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid (Bolduan and Walsh, 11/21).
The Associated Press: Super Failure: Deficit-Cutting Panel Gives Up
And the panel's failure left lawmakers confronting a large and controversial agenda for December, including Obama's call to extend an expiring payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits. Democrats had wanted to add those items and more to any compromise, and lawmakers in both parties also face a struggle to stave off a threatened 27 percent cut in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients (Espo, 11/21).
Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: Why The Super Committee Struck Out
[A]s one health care lobbyist told me today, this now marks the return to regular order. And what he means by that is this idea of the doc fix – reversing these double digit pay cuts that kick in Jan. 1 – is going to go through the committee process like it typically does. ... you’re looking at now anywhere from a one to three year patch (DoBias and Carey, 911/21).
Politico: Supercommittee's Failure: The Winners And Losers
(Winner) AARP and Americans for Tax Reform — Here’s how AARP described its lobbying efforts in a registration form filed with the Senate: AARP “lobbied Congress on excluding cuts to Social Security from the deficit-reduction package.” Since Social Security can’t be cut by sequestration under the debt-limit law enacted earlier this year, only a supercommittee decision could have raised revenue or cut spending by altering its structure (Allen, 11/21).
Related story from KHN: Health Programs On Chopping Block After Super Committee's Failure (Werber Serafini and Carey, 11/21).
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