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Senior Citizen Politics
Obama Backs 'Gang Of Six' Plan That Includes Medicare, Social Security Cuts
Senate leaders, others working on backup plan to allow Obama to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for a much smaller
package of spending cuts
July 20, 2011 - The Senate's "Gang of Six" unveiled its 10-year, $3.7 trillion deficit reduction plan Tuesday and
received a warm, bipartisan reception in the Senate and at the White House. Meanwhile, in the House, GOP lawmakers, in a largely symbolic
vote, passed their "cut, cap and balance" measure, which the White House has called "unacceptable."
'Gang Of Six' Plan Includes Deep Health Care Cuts; Making Social
Jul 21, 2011
Seniors, advocates focus on health care cuts; Social Security actions draw little concern - plan summary below
Senior Citizen Advocates Warn About Cuts to Entitlements in Last Minute Deal
National Association of Agencies on Aging take their message to Capitol Hill to stop cuts to Medicaid and Medicare
By Juan E. Gastelum
July 20, 2011
Senior League Flatly Opposes Social Security Cuts for Those 50+, But Cites Alternatives
Proposals include raising payroll tax cap, raising retirement age, adding public workers
July 18, 2011
President Obama Calls for 'Meaningful Changes' To Medicare, Medicaid (Video)
we have an obligation to make sure that we make those changes that are required to make it sustainable over the long
July 12, 2011
Lieberman-Coburn Medicare Proposal Could Stress
Strapped Senior Citizens: NPR Blog
Half of seniors had income under $22,000 in 2010;
25% had income under $13,000; just 5% had incomes above $85,000.
NPR Health Blog
June 29, 2011
Politics for Senior Citizens
The proposal, crafted by a bipartisan group of senators known as the "Gang of
Six," calls for $500 billion in immediate savings and requires lawmakers in the coming months to cut agency spending, overhaul Social Security
and Medicare, and rewrite the tax code to generate more than $1 trillion in fresh revenue, according to the
These two separate tracks lead media outlets to examine the prospects for compromise when Medicare, Medicaid and Social
Security are among the issues very much at the heart of the debate.
The Wall Street Journal: Obama Backs Latest Bargain
President Barack Obama, in a last-ditch bid for a bipartisan "grand bargain" on the budget, threw his weight Tuesday
behind a $3.7 trillion deficit-reduction plan unveiled by six Republican and Democratic senators.
The developments come against a backdrop
of a dramatic shift in public attitudes toward the debt ceiling.
The senators backing the new proposal say 74 percent of the deficit reduction would come from spending cuts and 26
percent from new taxes. It would impose spending cuts and caps, and make changes in Social Security to make the program solvent over 75 years.
It would direct congressional committees to reduce the deficit by specific levels in their areas of jurisdiction, likely
including major entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid (Hook, Bendavid and Paletta, 7/20).
The New York Times: Bipartisan Plan For Budget Deal Buoys President
The bipartisan proposal from the so-called Gang of Six senators to reduce deficits by nearly $4 trillion over the coming
decade and its warm reception from 43 other senators of both parties renewed hopes for a deal days after talks between Mr. Obama and
Congressional leaders had reached an impasse.
And Republicans increasingly are showing signs of splintering. Some conservatives within Congress and outside have become
increasingly vocal in asserting that the party is at risk of putting ideological purity ahead of the chance for a major deficit reduction that
includes substantial Democratic concessions, including cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid spending (Calmes and Steinhauer, 7/19).
Los Angeles Times: House Republicans Pass Symbolic Measure On Debt Ceiling
House Republican leaders pulled out all the stops Tuesday to pass legislation tying a debt ceiling increase to a tight,
long-term cap on federal spending a vote that appealed to conservatives but also underscored the GOP's difficulty in controlling its
Intensifying pressure on Republicans were new surveys showing a shift in public opinion against GOP positions on the
A majority of Americans prefer Obama's approach for combining more tax revenue with spending cuts in exchange for the
debt ceiling vote, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. And a USA Today/Gallup poll showed more Americans think Obama, rather than
the GOP, is acting in the country's best interests. Conservatives oppose more tax revenue.
Catering to conservatives at this moment could backfire on GOP leaders as they prepare newcomers for the inevitable
compromise. Behind the scenes, Senate leaders and others are working on a backup plan that would allow Obama to raise the debt ceiling on his
own in exchange for a much smaller package of spending cuts a plan that conservatives dislike (Mascaro and Hennessey, 7/20).
Roll Call: 'Gang Of Six' May Be Too Late
Support surged in both parties Tuesday for a $3.7 trillion deficit reduction outline proposed by the "gang of six," but
leaders warned that it might have come too late to have much effect before the Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling.
The euphoria in the Senate was not matched in the House, where leaders and the rank and file remained laser-focused on
their veto-bait Cut, Cap and Balance legislation that would condition a debt ceiling increase on passage of a controversial balanced budget
constitutional amendment. The House passed that measure Tuesday evening on a largely party-line vote of 234 to 190 (Dennis, 7/20).
National Journal: How Far Can The 'Gang Of Six' Go?
As Senate leaders crafted a stop-gap plan to lift the debt ceiling and the cut, cap, and balance plan hurtled towards
inevitable defeat in the Senate, a bipartisan fiscal framework from an all-but-moribund collaboration of six senators garnered rare praise
from President Obama and enthusiasm from Senate Republicans.
But does it matter? Few policymakers expect this framework from the Gang of Six to be the vehicle of a deal to lift the
government borrowing ceiling, but some think that individual provisions could augment an agreement, or that the plan could provide a path
forward if a short-term increase is enacted (Fernholz and Takersley, 7/20).
MarketWatch: House Approves Bill To Raise Debt Ceiling
The White House said the bill sets up an "unacceptable choice" between lifting the debt ceiling or passing a balanced
budget amendment that would cut Medicare and Social Security too deeply. The Obama administration has repeatedly urged Congress to raise the
$14.3 trillion debt ceiling by Aug. 2 or else the government will face default on its obligations. The plan from the Senate group known as the
"Gang of Six" aims to immediately cut $500 billion in deficits; make Social Security solvent over 75 years; and reduce marginal income tax
rates, among other things (Schroeder, 7/19).
ABC: Compromise Coming? Debt Talks Take Turn
The bipartisan talks, which had stalled this Spring after months, were at first intended to turn recommendations from the
President's Fiscal Commission into legislation. Their presentation to fellow lawmakers today was significant for its attendance alone: 50
senators both Republican and Democrats attended and were briefed by six senators Republicans Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Saxby Chambliss of
Georgia and Mike Crapo of Idaho, and Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois, North Dakota's Kent Conrad and Virginia's Mark Warner (Parkinson,
Miller, Wolf, Dwyer, Bruce and Tapper, 7/20).
information is reprinted from
kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J.
Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser
Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives and sign up
for email delivery. © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All
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