Democrats appear unlikely to cut Medicaid funding

Los Angeles Times reports that healthcare programs for the poor seem secure in any upcoming budget battles. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says efforts to fix the fiscal problems will have to include new revenues and can't just be cuts in spending.

Los Angeles Times: Medicaid Appears Off-Limits To Talk Of Budget Cuts
Healthcare for the nation's poor, once viewed as especially vulnerable in this era of budget cutting, has emerged as a surprisingly secure government entitlement with as much political clout as the Medicare and Social Security retirement programs. Even as President Obama and congressional Republicans gear up for a new budget battle, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, which together provide coverage to more than 1 in 5 Americans and almost 1 in 3 Californians over the course of a year, appear off-limits despite their huge price tag (Levey, 2/2).

Politico: Reid: Any Budget Deal Must Include Revenue
Any budget deal in Congress must "without any question" include revenue, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Sunday. "The American people are on our side," the Nevada Democrat said on ABC's "This Week." "The American people don't believe in these austere things. We believe that the rich should contribute. We believe we should fill those tax loopholes, get rid of them, I should say. And that's where we need to go." To lift the sequester, Reid said, the deal needs to include new revenue (Weinger,

And the New York Times examines how the recent economic downturn is hurting baby boomers.

The New York Times: In Hard Economy For All Ages, Older Isn't Better ... It's Brutal
In the current listless economy, every generation has a claim to having been most injured. But the Labor Department's latest jobs snapshot and other recent data reports present a strong case for crowning baby boomers as the greatest victims of the recession and its grim aftermath. These Americans in their 50s and early 60s -; those near retirement age who do not yet have access to Medicare and Social Security -; have lost the most earnings power of any age group. ... New research suggests that they may die sooner, because their health, income security and mental well-being were battered by recession at a crucial time in their lives (Rampell, 2/2).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from 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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