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Nancy Pelosi speaks during a visit by U.S. Representatives discussing bilateral relationships between Egypt and the U.S., in Cairo March 15, 2012. REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi
Greg Sargent talked to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi this week, and got her bottom line in negotiating Medicare: don't.
It’s a perennial fear among liberals: In the quest for a fiscal cliff deal, the White House and Democrats will ultimately acquiesce to GOP demands to raise the Medicare eligibility age. But one Democrat is drawing a line against this possibility: Nancy Pelosi.

“I am very much against that, and I think most of my members are,” Pelosi said in an interview with me today. “I don’t see any reason why that should be in any agreement.”

The argument against raising the eligibility age is that it would leave hundreds of thousands of seniors without health coverage and wouldn’t raise that much money for deficit reduction, since many of those seniors would go into Medicaid or the Obamacare exchanges, offsetting savings. The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that it would save $125 billion over 10 years.

Pelosi echoed this complaint succinctly, saying: “Show me the money.” She also said flatly that she didn’t believe raising the eligibility age would be in the final deal, despite GOP demands: “I don’t anticipate that it will be in it.”

Pelosi is helpfully taking the left flank on this, and signaling where the majority of House Democratic caucus votes on this are, Steny Hoyer aside. With likely Republican defections in the House if tax hikes are included, the Democrats might be necessary to pass the deal. Pelosi might not be in the thick of negotiations with Obama, Reid, and Boehner, but it's her job to convey to them where the majority of congressional Democrats stand.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 11:41 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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