Themes, Deadlocks Take Shape In Deficit Panel Developments
USA Today reports on the strategies interest groups are employing to reach the "super committee's" members. And, Reuters reports the Medigap plans are one of the items being considered by the panel for cuts.
The Associated Press: Deficit 'Supercommittee' Struggles Over Revenues And Familiar Partisan Impasse As Clock Ticks
While the panel members themselves aren't doing much talking, other lawmakers, aides and lobbyists closely tracking the committee are increasingly skeptical, even pessimistic, that the panel will be able to meet its assigned goal ... The reason? A familiar deadlock over taxes and cuts to major programs like Medicare and the Medicaid health care program for the poor and disabled (Taylor, 10/9).
USA Today: Fearing Budget Cuts, Interest Groups Take Lobbying Local
As interest groups scramble to protect their cherished programs, many are taking their lobbying local, turning to business leaders or community activists such as [Sam Burnett, a retired school administrator from Toledo] to plead their cases with home-state lawmakers who sit on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction or others in Congress they hope will influence their deliberations (Schouten, 10/9).
USA Today: Many Lobbyists Used To Work For Lawmakers On Deficit Panel
Sixty-six former aides to lawmakers serving on a congressional panel charged with finding ways to slash the federal deficit have represented powerful defense and health care industries that face colossal cuts in government spending, a new analysis shows (Schouten, 10/10).
Reuters: Limits on Supplemental Medicare Plans Eyed
Medicare supplemental health plans, popular among politically powerful retirees, could come under the budget knife being wielded by the special deficit-reduction panel of Congress, according to sources keeping close watch on its work. ... While the elderly buy the private plans, studies suggest they boost government Medicare costs as the extra coverage for deductibles and co-pays encourages greater use of medical services. That, in turn, pushes up costs for Medicare, which has to pay for its portion of the care (Smith, 10/10).
Related, earlier KHN story: Insurance Commissioners Tell Congress Not To Change Medigap Policies (Jaffe, 9/21)This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.