AARP Members Take To The Hill To Protect Entitlements
In effort to reinforce national television advertising, more than 400 AARP volunteers and staffers will be on Capitol Hill today to remind lawmakers not to cut Medicare. Meanwhile, both Democratic and Republican leaders are sending clear messages to the "super committee" and their fellow lawmakers regarding what they think should be on the table and how to frame expectations.
National Journal: New AARP Ad Protecting Entitlements
AARP is premiering another national TV ad campaign today, reminding lawmakers that cutting Medicare and Social Security risks angering 50 million seniors. And more than 400 AARP volunteers and staffers plan to hit the Hill today to re-enforce that message (Joseph, 10/12).
Politico Pro: House Dems Part With Obama On Health Cuts
House Energy and Commerce Democrats want the deficit reduction super committee to shun proposals that result in higher health costs for the elderly and the poor, and instead focus on savings that can be wrung from Medicare by rooting out misdirected payments and from pharmaceutical rebates. By and large, the draft letter to the super committee underscores long held Democratic beliefs that Medicare and Medicaid should be tweaked, not gutted. But it also runs counter to a slate of provisions supported by President Barack Obama, who offered his own vision for deficit reduction earlier this year. The committee Democrats are also urging the 12-member panel to leave the new health care law untouched, asking members to give the scores of programs meant to tame health costs a chance to ripen (Dobias, 10/11).
The Hill: Waxman Urges Super Committee To Leave Medicaid And Medicare Alone, Extend Drug Rebates
The top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce panel wants the deficit-cutting super committee to leave Medicare and Medicaid untouched and instead save money by extending drug rebates, according to a draft letter obtained by The Hill. House and Senate committees have until Friday to share their priorities with the super committee. The draft letter from Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) is being circulated among Democrats to get their input and has yet to be formally sent. "These views have been shared with the Democratic members of the Committee and reflect valuable input from the members," the letter states (Pecquet, 10/11).
The Hill: Sen. Hatch Says Right Shouldn't Expect Super Committee To Tackle Health Care Law
Conservatives should forget about dismantling the health care law through the super committee, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Tuesday. Because half of the new deficit-slashing panel's members are Democrats, Republicans will have to settle for more meager changes — at least for now, Hatch told the conservative Heritage Foundation. Congressional committees' recommendations to the super committee are due Friday; Hatch is the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over parts of the health care law. But Democrats hold a majority in the Senate (Trujillo, 10/11).
In other news from Capitol Hill —
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Okla. U.S. Sen. Coburn Undergoes Surgery For Early-Stage Prostate Cancer, Full Recovery Expected
U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer in Tulsa, a spokesman for the Oklahoma lawmaker said Tuesday. The Republican's cancer was detected in an early stage and he underwent surgery Monday, spokesman John Hart said (10/11).