Hart Health Strategies provides a comprehensive policy briefing on a weekly basis. This in-depth health policy briefing is sent out at the beginning of each week. The health policy briefing recaps the previous week and previews the week ahead. It alerts clients to upcoming congressional hearings, newly introduced bills, regulatory announcements, and implementation activity related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and other health laws.


Deficit Reduction/Debt-Limit Deal: Crisis Avoided?

It was announced late Sunday that President Obama and bi-partisan congressional leaders reached  an agreement Sunday on a legislative package that would extend the federal debt ceiling while cutting spending and guaranteeing further deficit-reduction steps.  Speaker Boehner is scheduled to hold a conference call at 8:30 am on Monday with his caucus to discuss the details of the agreement.  A key part of the agreement is the creation of a congressional committee that will recommend $1.2 trillion in spending cuts by the Thanksgiving recess.  Today  Speaker Boehner shared a power point presentation (See appendix A) with members of the Republican caucus outlining across the board spending cuts, including the Medicare program.  Social Security, Medicaid, and military and veterans pay would not be subject to spending reductions. Consistent with Republican demands throughout the negotiations, new tax revenues are not included in the agreement.  The President made a brief statement from the White House on Sunday evening, “Is this the deal I would have preferred? No”  But he said it will begin “to lift the cloud of debt and uncertainty” over the economy.”  House Speaker John Boehner told House Republicans Sunday night that there is nothing in the framework of the newly announced debt agreement that “violates our principles.”  He continued on to say, “It’s all spending cuts. The White House bid to raise taxes has been shut down. And as I vowed back in May -- when everyone thought I was crazy for saying it -- every dollar of debt limit increase will be matched by more than a dollar of spending cuts. And in doing this, we’ve stopping a job-killing national default that none of us wanted,”

The agreement calls for more than $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction. Both chambers of Congress must still pass the negotiated agreement.

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