Deficit reduction negotiations continued this week within the Beltway, with little apparent progress. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) indicated that he might be open to additional revenue increases if they could be tied to large cuts in entitlement spending. Meanwhile, President Obama lowered his revenue targets while remaining steadfastly opposed to substantial entitlement reform. Despite the slight movement, a compromise has not yet materialized, leaving many wondering whether the two leaders will be able to strike a deal before sequestration takes effect on January 1.
Although any outcome is still possible, recent news reports have suggested that major cuts to Medicaid appear to be largely off the table for now, with Congress under mounting pressure from safety net and consumer organizations to protect healthcare spending for low-income Americans. The Obama Administration this week quietly withdrew its support for a “blended” federal matching rate that would have cut hundreds of millions of dollars from Medicaid.
The National Council extends our thanks to those of you who responded to last week’s action alert asking you to contact your Members of Congress about protecting healthcare programs in the fiscal cliff negotiations. So far, 250 of you have sent close to 800 messages to Congress. However, the threat is not over yet. Please help keep the pressure on Congress by visiting our policy action center and writing to your legislators today.