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Capitol Correspondence - 06.18.18

Senate Backs Away from Medicare Reform

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According to Politico Pro:

“Republicans on Capitol Hill are giving up on what might be their last best chance to overhaul Medicare, just as they’re losing their leading champion on the issue, House Speaker Paul Ryan.

[…]

‘It takes two houses of Congress and a president to want to do that,’ said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), lamenting the party’s apathy over Medicare. ‘No matter who’s been in the House or who’s been speaker, we have not been able to get entitlement reform done.’

[…]

To make matters more complicated for Republicans hoping to overhaul Medicare, they are scrambling to figure out how to make their pitch without crossing Trump, who pledged on the campaign trail not to cut Medicare.

‘I’m not naive enough to expect anything’s gonna come out of this between now and November, but you have to keep having the conversation,’ said Rep. Tom Cole (R-La.), a member of the House’s budget and spending panels.”

ANCOR is monitoring these developments because congressional disinterest in Medicare reform could also signal decreased interest in Medicaid reform, such as block grants or per capita caps, particularly in the context of an election year.