Tentative 'fiscal cliff' deal reported between White House, Senate Republicans

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Budget Compromise Deal Reached
President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans sealed a budget deal late on the final day of the year to avert the fiscal cliff that would raise income-tax rates for the first time in nearly 20 years, maintain unemployment benefits to millions of people and extend a number of tax breaks for families of modest means. The deal also delays for two months part of the $110 billion in spending cuts that otherwise would have taken place in early January (Hook and Lee, 12/31). 

The Washington Post: Obama, Republicans Reach Deal On Fiscal Cliff; Senate Vote Expected Tonight
President Obama and Senate Republicans reached a sweeping deal late Monday that would let income taxes rise significantly for the first time in more than two decades, fulfilling Obama's promise to raise taxes on the rich and averting the worst effects of the "fiscal cliff." ... The two sides also appeared to have reached consensus on unemployment benefits, with Republicans acceding to Democratic demands to keep benefits flowing to the long-term unemployed for another year. Medicare payments would not be cut for doctors next year, and the cost of preserving those programs would not be offset with other spending cuts (MOntgomery, Kane and Markon, 12/31). '

Politico: Fiscal Cliff Deal -- If It Happens -- Doesn't Settle Much Of Health Care Future
For the health care world, the on-again, off-again, on-again resolution of the fiscal cliff is only the beginning of the story. If the deal to fix the cliff goes through in the next few days, the big questions about health and entitlement spending -; particularly Medicare and Medicaid -; will remain bitterly unresolved (Kenen, 12/31).

The New York Times: Tentative Deal Is Reached To Raise Taxes On The Wealthy
While some senators pushed for a quick vote on legislation to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, the House was not expected to consider any deal until Tuesday at the earliest, meaning that a combination of tax increases and spending cuts would go into effect in the first days of 2013. If Congress acts quickly and sends a deal to President Obama, the economic impact could still be very limited (Weisman, 12/31).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis 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.


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