KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Study: GOP Candidates’ Plans Would Leader To Larger Deficits

Proposals put forth by Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum would pile up the largest increases in debt, while Mitt Romney's initial plan, since revised with bigger suggested tax cuts, would increase it by a smaller amount over the next decade.

Los Angeles Times: Debt Would Grow Under Most GOP Candidates' Plans, Report Says
The sober analysis shows how difficult it will be for any new inhabitant in the White House to shift the nation's debt trajectory, and the need for long-term and bipartisan efforts to gain revenues and curb spending -- particularly at a time of rising Medicare costs for the aging population, the budget watchdog group said (Mascaro, 2/23).

The Associated Press: Study: Candidates' Plans Lead To Huge Deficits
Paul's budget plans include eliminating five Cabinet departments, immediately ending operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and sharply cutting federal programs like Medicaid and food stamps. It would reduce the deficit by $2.2 trillion over nine years. He is the only candidate whose spending cuts exceed the amount of revenue lost by cutting taxes (Taylor, 2/24).

The Wall Street Journal: Report Says Candidates' Plans Boost Federal Debt
While Republican presidential candidates are campaigning against President Barack Obama's deficit-laden budgets, a new report concludes that three of the four contenders' fiscal proposals would likely increase the federal debt. … The government's debt is now at $15.4 trillion. It's on track to grow rapidly in coming decades as the population ages and the costs of Medicare, Social Security and other entitlement programs soar. The issue has received attention from blue-ribbon study commissions and in Congress, where a deficit-reduction "super committee" tried but failed last year to come up with a plan to trim the deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years (Hook, 2/24).

Reuters: US Debt Would Swell Under Republican Candidates' Tax Plans-Study
The middle-path analysis of Romney's plan, before his pledge for deeper individual tax cuts, would have seen a modest $250 billion increase in debt by 2021 as more of his spending cuts were specified. These included deep cuts to the federal workforce and the Medicaid health care program for the poor. The debt-to-GDP ratio would have ended up at 86 percent under this plan, 1 percentage point above the baseline (Lawder, 2/23).

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