CQ (8/12, Reichard, Subscription Publication) reports, "The federal debt limit agreement gives opponents of the health care law as many as three chances to strike at its funding," yet, it is possible "that they will be able to deal only glancing blows." These "opportunities come in the form of $900 billion in cuts through the agreement's caps on discretionary spending; the provision for $1.2 trillion or more in additional deficit reduction to be negotiated by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and enacted by the end of this year; and in the automatic cuts that will kick in if the committee can't agree on all $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction." CQ says that "the debt agreement...creates a powerful dynamic for Republican critics of the health care law to divert its half a trillion dollars in Medicare and Medicaid cuts to deficit reduction and away from coverage of the uninsured."
Groups Prepare To Lobby Supercommittee On Funding Cuts. Reuters (8/12) reports that, as likely targets
for cuts in lawmakers’ efforts to reduce the deficit, the defense and
healthcare industries are devising strategies to convince members of the
supercommittee to minimize the impact of any reductions. Reuters says that each
group is employing a different tactic. For the health industry, this is a
familiar battle, since it has often been the target of proposed cuts in the
past. In contrast, this is very unfamiliar territory for the defense industry.