As the White House and congressional Republicans wrestle with strategies to deal with these upcoming budget issues, Medicare and Medicaid will be important factors.
The New York Times: Difficult Choices On Debt If The U.S. Hits The Ceiling
The Treasury Department is undertaking "extraordinary measures," … to leave it with more cash on hand. But such measures buy the country only so much time. … That day might be Feb. 15, for instance. According to a Bipartisan Policy Center analysis, the government expects about $9 billion in revenue to arrive in its coffers that day. But it has $52 billion in committed spending on that day: $30 billion in interest payments, $6.8 billion in tax refunds, $3.5 billion in federal salaries, $2.7 billion in military pay, $2.3 billion in Medicaid and Medicare payments … and a smattering of other commitments. The Treasury would be confronted with paying doctors but not soldiers (Lowrey, 1/17).