KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

‘Grand Bargain’ Budget Deal Appears Increasingly Unlikely

News outlets report that pressure is diminishing as the federal government's "red ink" recedes, leaving Democrats far less likely to consider major changes and trims to Medicare that Republicans view as the building block for any such agreement.

The Washington Post: As Red Ink Recedes, Pressure Fades For Budget Deal
In the meantime, Republicans face a listless summer, with little appetite for compromise but no leverage to shape an agreement. Without that leverage, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday, there is no point in opening formal budget negotiations between the House and the Senate, because Democrats have no reason to consider the kind of far-reaching changes to Medicare and the U.S. tax code that Republicans see as fundamental building blocks of a deal (Montgomery and Goldfarb, 5/7).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: As Deficit Bargain Remains Elusive, Pessimism Abounds At Annual Fiscal 'Summit'
But barely 100 days into President Barack Obama's second term — supposedly a time of peak possibility in a divided capital city — a bipartisan squad of Washington's budget big shots was decidedly downbeat on the chances of following up January's big tax increase on the wealthy with a follow-up deal. "A 'grand bargain' implies you're going to fix the problem, but when you have the majority party in Washington unwilling to embrace the kinds of reforms that make Medicare solvent or make Social Security solvent ... I don't see a grand bargain happening,” said House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., a frequent attendee at Peterson's event (5/7).

The Wall Street Journal: Ryan Sees No 'Grand Bargain' On Budget
A top House Republican lawmaker said he didn't think that a "grand bargain" on a broad deficit-reduction agreement would be reached in the near term, casting new doubts on the chances for such a deal. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) said that he thought the parties were too far apart on the question of overhauling major entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid, saying this would prevent a major deal from being concluded (Boles, 5/7).

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