Debt reduction proposals announced

With less than four weeks before the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction has to strike a deal, Republicans and Democrats exchanged plans to reduce the federal deficit. If the Super Committee fails, across-the-board reductions will be enacted. According to media reports, the Democrats’ $3 trillion debt deals include significant cuts to federal health care. The cuts were presented Tuesday by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and are supported by most Democrats on the Super Committee. The Washington Post is reporting Sen. Baucus thinks the Super Committee should continue the summer’s negotiations of President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), and Sen. Baucus has offered to cut as much as $500 billion from Medicare and other health programs. These cuts would be over 10 years. Congressional Quarterly reports of the $400 billion cuts proposed, providers and beneficiaries could see $200 billion in reductions. Yesterday, the committee held their fourth open door hearing. The next hearing will be Tuesday, November 1 and focus on the proposals put forward by other deficit reduction panels and ad hoc groups.  Information about that hearing and prior meetings is available at the Super Committee’s website. For more information on how Super Committee actions might affect rural health care, please visit NRHA’s Congressional Action Kit.  If you have any questions regarding deficit reduction negotiations or Super Committee happenings, please contact NRHA government affairs staff at (202) 639-0550.