Tags: Healthcare Reform | john boehner | nancy pelosi | medicare | deal | republicans | conflict

Boehner-Pelosi Medicare Deal Sets Stage for More GOP Conflict

By    |   Monday, 16 Mar 2015 10:23 PM

Not even two weeks after a bitter battle with House conservatives over what they regarded as a cave-in by House Speaker John Boehner on funding for President Barack Obama's executive amnesty, the Ohio Republican may be setting the stage for another fight that splits the House GOP Caucus.

This time, however, the issue is not immigration – an issue that has long been hotly debated within the GOP – but Medicare and the larger issue of entitlement reform.

The Hill describes the Medicare changes Boehner has been discussing with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as "a $200 billion deal "that's already dividing conservatives in his rowdy conference."

Senior aides to Boehner and Pelosi reportedly began discussing the deal earlier this year at roughly the same time their bosses were battling over the Homeland Security Department and amnesty. The plan now being discussed would reportedly include Medicare cuts targeting wealthy seniors; provisions ending automatic cuts in Medicare reimbursements to doctors; and the extension of a politically popular spending program known as the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

According to The Hill, the evolving deal has created a division on the right, with Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform in favor and Heritage Action for America opposed.

Some House GOP Leadership aides in the House suggest a deal could start the process for larger-scale entitlement reform.

On Monday, the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal ran a story explaining why numerous conservative groups oppose the emerging Boehner-Pelosi agreement.

While it has the support of the House Democratic and Republican leaders, "only $70 billion of the $200 billion deal would be paid for during the first 10 years. Half of that $70 billion would come from cuts to providers including hospitals, acute care providers and insurers over time," the publication said, citing news reports.

The other $35 billion would come from cuts to higher-income Medicare recipients through means-testing.

But the remaining $130 billion — almost two-thirds of the deal – would be added to the deficit, it said.

While the Boehner-Pelosi plan has not been officially released, a number of conservative groups are pushing back against it.

Spokesmen for both the Club for Growth and, Heritage Action for America – the Heritage Foundation's sister organization – indicated that their groups would oppose any changes which added to the deficit.

"Based on what we know, this deal is a non-starter for conservatives," said Heritage Action spokesman Dan Holler. "Americans don't hand Republicans a historic House majority to engage in massive deficit spending."

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Not even two weeks after a bitter battle with House conservatives over what they regarded as a cave-in by House Speaker John Boehner on funding for President Barack Obama's executive amnesty, the Ohio Republican may be setting the stage for another fight that splits the House GOP Caucus.
john boehner, nancy pelosi, medicare, deal, republicans, conflict
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2015-23-16
Monday, 16 Mar 2015 10:23 PM
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