Medicaid 'Vulnerable' In Deficit Talks

The latest GOP proposal being floated in the House exposes Medicaid to heavy cuts because of the plan's cap on federal spending. Meanwhile, some advocates question the commitment of some Democrats to defending the program.

Politico Pro: Medicaid Vulnerable In 'Cut, Cap, Balance'
The "Cut, Cap and Balance" bill that Republican leaders in the House announced Friday shields Medicare from cuts, but leaves Medicaid heavily exposed. The bill, which the House is likely to vote on next week, would place a cap on federal spending at 19.9 percent of the gross domestic product, but Medicare would be exempt from the cap, along with Social Security, veterans benefits and interest on the debt. It also exempts these programs from cuts that would be triggered if spending exceeded the cap (Feder, 7/15).

The Hill: Dems' Muddled Message On Medicaid Worries Advocates
Medicaid advocates remain worried that the state-federal program for low-income Americans remains on the chopping block as debt ceiling negotiations enter the final stretch. Congressional Democrats' on-again, off-again pledge to protect the program from drastic cuts is causing heartburn among advocates for the poor and state officials who worry about the lawmakers' commitment. In particular, the Democratic leadership has at times left out any mention of Medicaid when vowing to fight entitlement cuts (Pecquet, 7/16). 

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