Bipartisan Deficit Commission says, “No we can’t”

Look what bipartisanship can do! Kaiser Health News quotes the National Journal,

For all of the attention surrounding President Obama’s bipartisan commission on deficit reduction, the country’s biggest cost centers — health care in general and Medicare specifically — will likely remain unscathed when the panel offers its recommendations in December. The reason is simple: When congressional Democrats crafted the health care reform package, which became law a little more than six months ago, they did so by squeezing Medicare as much as they could politically … The Democrats’ nifty feat of taking out more than $500 billion from Medicare, mostly by reducing provider payments and changing how the system pays private health insurance companies, has handcuffed the Republican budget hawks who serve on the panel. The cuts have left them nibbling around the edges in an attempt to reduce the nation’s $2.5 trillion health care tab (DoBias, 10/2).

Shorter: “We’re done cutting Medicare.” Wow. Impressive work on the most pressing domestic policy issue. Need I roll out the graph again? OK, why not:

Federal spending and revenue projections as a percent of GDP (CBO)

Alternative Fiscal Scenario

More here and here.

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