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Advocacy Alert

DEBT CEILING IMPACT:

The deal President Barack Obama and Congress struck this week to raise the nation's debt ceiling has prompted many questions about how a special "super committee" established by the law will affect federal health care programs. By the day before Thanksgiving, the bipartisan, bicameral (both chambers) panel of 12 (6 from the House, 6 from the Senate) lawmakers must report recommendations to trim at least $1.2 trillion in federal spending over the next decade. If the committee members don't reach consensus, or if Congress does not approve a package they offer by Dec. 23, a series of automatic spending cuts would kick in by 2013. Following is a link to a Guide to how the panel's deliberations could influence Medicare and Medicaid. Click here on the link: http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2011/August/03/debt-deal-FAQ.aspx

Medicare and Medicaid will be spared from the first round of cuts in the debt-ceiling deal. But the Joint Congressional Committee tasked with finding $1.5 trillion or more in deficit reduction is going to be looking hard at both programs. Here are five options they're likely to consider. Click here for more.

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