The latest offer by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is seen as progress in the negotiations between Congress and the White House, but in return Boehner is asking for significant cuts in Medicare and other programs.
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Movement Seen In 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks As Boehner Offers Revenue Boost
In return, Boehner is asking for $1 trillion in spending cuts from government benefit programs like Medicare. Those cuts would defer most of a painful set of across-the-board spending cuts set to slash many domestic programs and the Pentagon budget by 8-9 percent, starting in January (12/17).
Politico: Fiscal Cliff Deal Still Faces Many Hurdles
House Speaker John Boehner jump-started the budget talks by offering to raise tax rates, but major differences on entitlements and revenue could prove difficult to bridge with only two weeks until the fiscal cliff deadline. … But proposed cuts to Medicare are now the key to any fiscal cliff deal. Boehner needs robust changes to the hugely popular seniors health program to sell any kind of tax-rate increase to his conservative-dominated Republican Conference (Sherman and Bresnahan, 12/16).
USA Today: Signs Of A Thaw Emerge In 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks
In talks with President Obama, Republican House Speaker John Boehner offered to back raising the income tax rates for people making $1 million or more if Obama agreed to significant cuts in entitlement program spending, according to two sources close to the negotiations. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Obama rejected that offer, the sources said, but it was the first sign that Boehner was willing to endorse raising tax rates for anyone (Jackson, 12/16).
Bloomberg News/The New York Times: U.S. Fiscal Deal Unlikely Without Compromise
As the political tension mounts over the current fiscal deadlock -; which, unless a deal is reached by Dec. 31, would increase taxes for everyone and force some draconian spending cuts -; there will have to be trade-offs for any ultimate deficit-reduction deal. Congressional Republicans insist this will only be palatable if there are major cuts to entitlement programs, especially Medicare. There are clear indications that the White House, despite the objections of some Democrats, would go along with significant changes, perhaps including a form of means testing for Medicare benefits, altering the cost-of-living adjustments for entitlements and taxes (Hunt, 12/16).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.