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Details on the substance of the debt ceiling negotiations talks have been sparse amidst the drama of Rep. Eric Cantor's theatrics and Obama's frustration. But what substance we have seen suggests that President Obama remains committed to deep cuts and some sort of grand bargain.
Working off of talks that had been spearheaded by Vice President Joseph Biden, the president said he would be comfortable signing off on northward of $1.5 trillion in discretionary spending and mandatory spending cuts. With additional negotiations, he added, he could move that figure up to $1.7 trillion, and with a willingness to consider revenue increases and tax loophole closures, lawmakers could get to over $2 trillion. His preference, he said, was to continue to push for the biggest package possible, so long as it was balanced.

That package likely includes the Medicaid cuts offered in the Biden negotiations, replacing the current state reimbursement formula with a "blended-rate" set signficantly below current state support. That would result in a cost shift to states that would mean keep cuts by the states. That appears to be the same proposal Cantor offered a few days ago, when Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner were pretending that they would be willing to go back to the Biden negotiation benchmarks.

That's got a number of organizations worried and lobbying hard to protect the program targeting a number of officials, including congressional Democrats and the White House.

WASHINGTON -- The top union representing state and local workers is putting pressure on moderate Senate Democrats to reject any debt ceiling proposals that would end up cutting funding to Medicaid.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), one of the largest unions in the country, unveiled new plans on Wednesday to hold events in North Carolina to pressure that state's two senators -- Democrat Kay Hagan and Republican Richard Burr -- to rally behind the embattled low-income health care program.

That the union is rallying behind Medicaid reflects the extent to which labor leaders are worried about how even moderate cuts would affect their rank and file members. A recent study by the health care reform advocacy group Families USA showed that even a five percent cut in Medicare funding could result in the loss of well over 100,000 jobs (8,890 in North Carolina alone), not to mention the toll on state budgets.

Actual constituents have joined the effort to protect Medicaid, as Americans with disabilities and their families met with officials on Tuesday to stress the importance of Medicaid in closing gaps in the safety net. Their message:

Tackling our nation’s budget woes cannot be combined with an attack on people with disabilities, their families, and caregivers. Medicaid is a fundamental lynchpin for people with disabilities to live and work independently in communities across our nation. To drastically reduce this vital support is short-sighted and wrong. We welcome the chance to be a part of the solution.

They highlighted a fact that is reinforced today by a new report from Georgetown's Health Policy Institute:

[A]Lmost eight in 10 children with autism, cancer and other special healthcare needs who are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program—about 2.9 million children—rely on those programs as their primary source of coverage. For many others, government programs fill the gaps for services not covered by private insurance or help with cost-sharing.

"Children have the most to lose in the budget debate if Medicaid takes the brunt of the budget cuts because they make up a disproportionate share of Medicaid beneficiaries," the paper concludes. "Children and youth with special health care have more at stake in the deficit debate than any others."

Medicaid is necessary, efficient, and should be on the chopping block than no more than Social Security or Medicare. Enacting these cuts now would completely undercut everything President Obama attempted to do with the Affordable Care Act, throwing more people in the ranks of the uninsured and, as a consequence, driving up health care costs for the country. It's a bad, bad idea.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm so tired of this shit (18+ / 0-)

    As if federal government spending of 22-28% of GDP is what caused the financial/unemployment crisis and the deficit? It isn't. It was the unpaid for wars, tax cuts, and financial market deregulation.

    And now we're going to pretend and that the solution to the depressed economy is deficit reduction through government spending cuts (never mind that the cuts aren't even going to be in the bloated war and "defense" budgets)?

    Fucking stupid

  •  The Hatred of the Poor (14+ / 0-)

    the Minorities, the Sick, and the Elderly.

    Why is it, again, that we aren't supposed to compare these bastards to certain mid 1930's German politics?

    Cutting Medicaid IS kicking sick people right out of their hospital beds into the streets, so some rich motherfucker doesn't have to pay taxes?

    I am not sure why people want to tolerate this.

    Republicans HATE America. Deal with it. / It's the PLUTONOMY, Stupid!

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 05:09:44 PM PDT

  •  Lawrence O. stated again that... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LI Mike, NedSparks

    there were medicare cuts in Pres. Clinton's 1993 budget, and no one complained.  Anyone know more about this?

    "The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change. Only the people of the region can do that. But we can make a difference." 3/28/11

    by BarackStarObama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 05:15:50 PM PDT

    •  I'm sure plenty of people complained (5+ / 0-)

      back then.

      I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

      by slinkerwink on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 05:18:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There were major cuts when the White Tide (13+ / 0-)

      rolled into DC with Newt and the Contract on America.

      That was the beginning of the end of my good state job - and a lot of Medicaid services that fucked our ability to deliever remaining services.

      They opened Medicaid up for 'privatization' of mental health services and let me tell you what a corrupt circus THAT is...

      Now the just want to kill it and let people and program wither on the vine.

      And every dollar cut from Medicaid KILLS JOBS!

      Republicans HATE America. Deal with it. / It's the PLUTONOMY, Stupid!

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 05:26:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think he was being totally honest (4+ / 0-)

      First of all...based on a basic google search, there were some complaints.   I think he was saying they eventually voted for it.

      Clintons court wavering senators

      President Clinton and top administration officials lobbied wavering Senate Democrats yesterday as it became clear resistance remains to some of the spending cuts and higher taxes in his economic plan.

      Mr. Clinton met with five undecided senators at the White House, and Hillary Rodham Clinton held a closed-door meeting with a half-dozen other senators concerned about the magnitude of Medicare cuts in the deficit-reduction bill.

      "He handled it very smoothly, but I could

      I don't have access to the full archives, but I suspect you will find some complaints if you do.  There are a bunch of articles.

      Second...they were pushing universal health care, so this was seen as a way to begin the process and set the groundwork IIRC.

      Finally, Lawrence has been saying "I" an awful lot the last few days.  This is his area so he seems to be trying to varnish his credentials in addition to analysis.   I know it is to establish credibility, but I actually take makes it seem like he has a bias towards a specific outcome.

      We will see where it lands, but I would take that statement with a grain of salt.

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 05:37:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I meant to add as the last line... (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think he is providing the full story...

        "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

        by justmy2 on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 05:38:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Pathetic (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poxonyou, jimreyn, cdreid

      but not surprising that O'Donnell is playing the role of apologist.

      Extremely sad day for Democrats.

      "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 05:39:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's the same old story BarackStar, they are using (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      words like "likely" and "suggest" as substantial evidence of the President's cutting up of medicaid or medicare. There is no statement from the President of a final agreement where he has laid out what specific cuts he is making to a slice of bread or even medicaid, but every day we hear he is planning deep cuts or, in one diary yesterday, the President wants to "savage" recipients with his medicare cuts....

      It seems to me that there should be a tiny bit of additional fact from the President directly or his staff on the record before we can say "He is committed to deep cuts" and conflate those none specifics to be deep cuts in medicaid.

      Still, I'm glad there is mention of the healthcare reform bill because this is the only point of fact presented in this diary on what the President's mindset is as it relates to these important programs: In the healthcare reform bill, medicare was strenghtend, not killed..... Always good to see you my friend BarackStar.... :-)

      •  Why should we wait to talk (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poxonyou, NanaoKnows, jimreyn, cdreid

        until after the agreement is done?  That means we don't get any say at all.

        If the White House had no intention of doing these things, they could say so.

        •  Number one, it's not as if the President would (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          announce the agreement and the bill would be signed immediately. There is ample time for the base and, most importantly, even the Democratic Congress to kill it.... Secondly, it is quite obvious to many who have been following this whole event that the President has been trying to box in these tea-critters. As he himself said at a recent press confrence.

          Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to.

          And based on the reports even based on the HuffPo article cited here, the President and Democrats are asking for revenue increases which the tea-critters are sworn to never agree to.... "Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to."

          My point in all of this is, as a Democrat, it's fine that these issues are discussed but to see the President portrayed in stark terms of wanting to damage these programs is a bit unfair when we have no specific evidence that he wants to damage these programs....

          •  Exactly Ned, President Obama... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            is showing everyone that he is the one who is serious about lowering the debt, and that rethugs care nothing about anything except enriching the wealthy.

            "The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change. Only the people of the region can do that. But we can make a difference." 3/28/11

            by BarackStarObama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 07:01:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Do we have a public option? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Did the Bush tax cuts for billionaires turn into the Obama tax cuts for billionaires?

            Did Obama get every dime he wanted for his wars for profit?

            Believe me, every safety net being destroyed is a done deal. They are not going to stop Obama with this anymore than they did the public option, the tax cuts or his endless wars.

            For those who are dependent on SS, Medicare and/Medicaid to survive, know that what misery you are in now is going to seem like a party once Obama's cuts destroy these programs. If you depend on these programs, so do I and our lives are basically over. For those who are sick and/or disabled and need a lot of medical care and medications you'd better make arrangements if you have pets or anything you want someone to take care of for you. Seriously, how long do you think you will last without a doctor or hospital being willing to treat you and with out your meds being covered for those on Medicaid, including psych meds. If you are diabetic how long do you think you'll last without podiatry and vision care? If you have hearing problems you can kiss any help with that goodbye. Get ready to be blind and deaf and end up with amputations. Diabetic testing supplies will also be cut or greatly limited as Obama is leaving the states to fend for themselves with Medicaid, no Federal money. We know how the govs of each state love to take care of those on Medicaid. THEY DON'T, AT ALL IN SOME CASES LIKE AZ AND NJ. If you need home care, visiting nurse, wound care, such things as adult diapers get ready to have severe infections.

            If you are barely making it now, wait until Obama's 12 THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR is taken from your SS. Chances are you will become homeless so start looking for a place to stay now.

            If you're already hungry, by 2013 Obama has already put in not one but two huge cuts to food stamps. That is already a done deal. He claims the price of food has not gone up since 2008.

            This is American for the near poor and poor under Republican law and tragically for us, the poor or near poor depending on any help from the government, Obama is one of the Republicans and the kindest thing they can do for most of us is offer euthanasia, but that is probably too expensive, short of putting us before a firing squad. So it's easiest to just let the poor and near poor suffer and die on the streets.

          •  Let me guess.... (0+ / 0-)

            When deep Medicaid cuts are in the final bill and the President approves, you're going to say its the liberals fault for not getting rid of them, right?

      •  Thanks Ned, excellent comment... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        my friend, and I totally agree with you.  Talk to you soon. :-)

        "The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change. Only the people of the region can do that. But we can make a difference." 3/28/11

        by BarackStarObama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 06:56:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There have been plenty of (3+ / 0-)

      cuts to Medicare over the years

      Capital component to DRGS
      Reweighting DRGS
      Cuts to Direct Med Education
      Cuts to indirect medical education

  •  Another Presss Conference tomorrow (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, Phil S 33, poxonyou meeting...

    That bully pulpit thing actually does have some power...

    "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

    by justmy2 on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 05:15:58 PM PDT

  •  My nephew depends on Medicaid. (10+ / 0-)

    Hopefully it won't be cut.

    I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 05:18:22 PM PDT

  •  All these spending cuts on Medicaid, Medicare (12+ / 0-)

    and Social Security are looming ahead. Wouldn't it just be easier to bring the troops home?

  •  Is anyone listening? (12+ / 0-)

    Michigan is limiting Welfare to four years to save money. The State Republican Senator told the news that people need to find work and not rely on government so much. I guess Washington feels the same way.

    I noticed though Washington isn't cutting corporate welfare.

    Government isn't the answer to all our problems, but tax cuts, deregulation and greed are the source of many of them.

    by coffejoe on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 05:26:21 PM PDT

  •  Billions could be saved (8+ / 0-)

    in Medicaid if they could just eliminate the fraud and jail the fraudsters.  No, I'm not talking about the poor and disabled -- I'm talking about the effing Pharma companies and their lackies -- criminal psychiatrists -- who create syndromes and illnesses, encourage the impoverished with children to use their kids as guinea pigs for dangerous medications to get funding.  

    I just read a two part series on this issue in The New York Review of Books.  The multi-billion dollar scam and endangerment of children and adults is appalling.

    Frigging give medicaire to folks who need it -- single or with children.  Don't force them to take shite just so some shrinks and bigPharma can profit.

    Ok, I'm done my rant.  No == I'm not -- stop fucking people up with pills they don't need and then more folks can be insured.  The end.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 05:33:10 PM PDT

  •  gotta love politicians... (6+ / 0-)

    they're not cutting medicaid... thy're cost shifting. They're not cutting SS benefits, they're improving the program. I don't know how they sleep at night...

  •  I almost can't even watch or read the news (6+ / 0-)

    What is there to be upbeat about in our society anymore?  Our politicians by and large (both parties) refuse to raise taxes on the rich even .01% and support dismantling wholesale what little is left of our social safety net.  We already have the worst social safety net of any developed nation and they still want to take an axe what little we have.  Even worse most people in this country are too uninformed or disinterested to give a damn.  They willingly sit on their hands and allow their hard earned benefits to be cut in the name of nonsense "lowering the deficit" to some rich fuckwad in a corporate office can have his taxes cut and buy another mansion.  Just watch, I'll bet they elect the teabaggers to another majority in 2012 too.  I'm so sick of this shit.  

  •  As a provider who accepts patients on both (11+ / 0-)

    Medicaid & Medicare, I think any plan to cut either program boils down to cuts to providers.

    Medicaid reimbursement rates are abysmal as it is. Here in the Reno, NV area, there is 1...count them 1...pediatrician who accepts Medicaid. Otherwise, if your kid is on Medicaid, you're in the ER. There's not 1 dentist who will accept Medicaid in a 100 mile radius.

    The state already cut the funding for kids'/adults' eye exams & glasses. There's already no funding here for hearing aids for either kids/adults or adult diapers.

    I'm scared to think what they might cut next if the federal funding gets slashed.

  •  S & P has upped the ante...50% chance of downgrade (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    speak2me, poxonyou
  •  These cuts are what Obama was elected to do (0+ / 0-)

    By the Replicans!

  •  I knew better than to get my hopes up yesterday... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poxonyou, jimreyn, congenitalefty

    when it appeared this President had found his way the people that put him in office.

    But then again, I'm more angry with myself for allowing myself to take one more ride on this ship of fools. The people don't elect a President, corporations and the MIC do.

    I'm so tired of this schizophrenic, goddamn now you see me now you don't, peek-a -boo, freak show, house of mirrors.

    It's become fuck 'em all time. ALL of them.

    Obama/Biden? Fuck you the  hardest.

    It's time to "call the dogs and piss on the fire"~my grandfather.

    The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense.
    Take what you have gathered from coincidence.
    The empty-handed painter from your streets
    Is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets.
    This sky, too, is folding over you
    And it's all over now, Baby Blue.
    •  I wish there was hope too (4+ / 0-)

      But there is not, not with Obama. We have to realize he is not only a Republican but one of the most vicious and hateful when it comes to taking from the poor to give to the rich. Even Reagan and W never went after the poor this way.

      Our only hope is not in hoping Obama will do the right thing. He never will. He is doing what he's being paid to do.

      Our hope is with organizing, fighting back, taking to the streets and getting a true Progressive/Liberal into the WH and filling both houses with them. We need to toss most of these evil fuckers the hell out, starting with Obama.

      •  Respectfully, heather... (2+ / 0-)

        It's not just Obama.

        It's the entire system. It's the PNAC. It's just that Obama happened to be the mark they chose to take the heat.

        See this documentary if you really want an inside look (as "inside" as you can get) into how it really works.

        Iron Triangle: The Carlyle Group

        The Bush family, the Saudi Royal family, Osama Bin Laden’s family and Donald Rumsfeld’s inner circle – these are just some of the high profile figures who have played a direct role in the rise of one of the most powerful and influential and secretive firms in Washington.

        The company is called The Carlyle Group. And in the wake of the events of September 11th and the invasion of Iraq, its power and influence have become significantly stronger.

        The company operates within the so-called iron-triangle of industry, government and the military. Its list of former and current advisers and associates includes a vast array of some of the most powerful men in America and indeed around the world.

        This program exposes the history of the Carlyle Group, from it’s inception as a private equity firm to it’s precent status as one of the largest defence contractors in the world.

        •  thanks Annalize5 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I'm very interested to see that.

          I do know it's the entire system but we voted for Obama because he lied about not being a part of that system.

          Yes, shame on me for believing him, for being so desperate for the real change of the previous 30 years that he promised that I allowed myself to be played for a fool.

          Why I can't stomach Obama is that we knew with the likes of Reagan and W who the enemy was. Obama pretended not to be one with them when he was from the get go, bought and paid for by the same people who gave us Reagan and W. Who is more to blame, the liar or the fool who believes the lie. I honestly don't know. I'm not proud that I fell for the lies. But worse I'm terrified that it's clear there is no one on the side of anyone but the rich, or damn few. I think Sanders is, maybe Grayson.

          I will vote in 2012 but it will not be for Obama. If there is no official challenge I'll writing in the name of some Liberal but I really have no hope. With what Obama plans I don't even know if I'll still be alive in by ED 2012 or if a lot of people who depend on SS, Medicare/Medicaid will still be alive or have an address so that they can vote.

          •  I hear you. (0+ / 0-)
            Obama pretended not to be one with them when he was from the get go, who gave us Reagan and W. Who is more to blame, the liar or the fool who believes the lie.

            We needed to beleive, heather, I count myself in that number.

  •  People with disabilities who meet the requirements (5+ / 0-)

    to receive Medicaid are DUE that medical care because the rest of us have paid for them.  No candidate that I recall ran on a platform of cutting Medicaid, certainly not any that I voted for. Nobody, IMO, has the right to vote to take away the care we taxpayers have paid for on behalf of people with disabilities until that candidate has the guts to run on that platform and give voters a chance to respond to that idea with our votes.

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

    by RJDixon74135 on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 06:03:49 PM PDT

    •  That candidate (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poxonyou, cdembrey, cdreid

      sure isn't Obama who will not rest until he not only cuts but dismantles Medicaid.

      He is fighting to let the states fend for themselves with little to no federal funding. That will end Medicaid as we know who well the states take care of those on Medicaid these days. Even NYS's supposed Dem gov Cuomo has drastically cut Medicaid to give NYS's wealthiest tax cuts.

      In AZ Brewer put the sickest on Medicaid on death row rather than let them have Medicaid.

      NJ's Christy took Medicaid away from families of 4 who make over 103 dollars a week.

      Both states took it away from most adults without children.

      NV took away vision, foot and dental care, even for those with diabetes, which will most likely lead to blindness, amputations and death for most of them. They took away hearing aids too leaving many poor blind and deaf. They even took away adult diapers and disposable gloves for caregivers, leading to massive infections and death, not to mention taking away even that shred of dignity for those who need adult diapers.

      This is all before Obama cuts federal spending. Imagine what it's going to be after he does.

      It also proves Obama's HCR is a huge lie just to give trillions to the insurance and drug companies since Obama's HCR is dependant on Medicaid being very strong.

      These days it's not enough for the Obama and the other Republicans to hurt the poor, they have to make them suffer as much as possible before they die. They have made a sport of it.

      They get away with it because they know that these days, most Americans do not fight back even for their own interest and they sure as hell do not fight for the interest of others, especially the poor. Even many self proclaimed Liberals believe the Reagan lie of the poor are to blame for all the world's ills.

  •  God Bless Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poxonyou, Annalize5

    He reached a compromise. He is the most serious, responsible adult who has held the presidency since Theodore Roosevelt.
    I resent any criticism of him whatsoever. Let's get some pictures of Malia going, and thank him for being President and bringing Hope back to America.

    "How I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity." William S Burroughs

    by shmuelman on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 06:13:34 PM PDT

  •  A 5 percent cut (0+ / 0-)

    in Medicare would kill 100,000 jobs.

    Every program that is paid for by the people for the people creates a lot of jobs and a lot of profits for business.

    I hear people griping that would have no income if it wasn't for programs like Medicaid, housing or foodstamps, etc.

    Cutting benefits and cutting taxes is happening all over the world.  The leaders could create Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in the poorer countries instead of breaking the promises made to us all.

    Business is trying to make our currency even all over the world.  To do that, they want to take from Americans and give to the 3rd world cheap countries and it's workers.  It doesn't bother them that we have counted on these programs.

  •  This fight was won during the last (0+ / 0-)

    meeting of the principals. The President said 4 trillion and the lameoids on the right chickened out. Right there was the end of the fight. The Rs want to nickle, dime the dems, but O slammed the door shut on that. The fight is over and the Rs are too dumb to know that. Some do and that is the reason they are looking like they have PTSD. The just got their asses handed to them by O!

    Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

    by Agent420 on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 09:43:05 AM PDT

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