Advocates To Lobby on Health Care Spending Following Debt Deal
Advocacy groups have begun mobilizing grassroots campaigns to lobby lawmakers on the 12-member bipartisan panel created by Tuesday's debt deal over potential cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, Politico reports (DoBias, Politico, 8/4).
Under the deal, federal discretionary spending will be cut by a total of about $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years. The agreement also requires House and Senate leaders to establish the 12-member panel to develop and pass a package of $1.5 trillion in additional federal spending cuts by the end of November.
Failure by Congress to enact further spending reductions at the end of this year would trigger a series of automatic cuts of as much as $1.2 trillion. If the triggers are engaged, Medicaid is exempted and Medicare is protected from deep spending cuts. However, the congressional deficit-reduction advisory committee that the deal creates is not bound by those stipulations (California Healthline, 8/3).
Advocacy Groups' Efforts
Groups including Health Care for America Now, the Medicare Rights Center and Families USA are expected to work to shield Medicare and Medicaid from cuts. According to Politico, the groups will rely on community-level activists to rally supporters.
Meanwhile, conservative groups that are looking to cut entitlement spending are using similar tactics to mobilize their supporters.
According to Politico, both sides will rely on partnerships, letter-writing, coordinated phone calls to congressional offices, emails and opinion pieces to rally support (Politico, 8/4).
DCCC Plans Campaign Against 44 House Republicans
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to launch an advertising campaign against 44 House Republicans in swing districts who supported House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) fiscal year 2012 budget resolution (Joseph, "Ballot Box," The Hill, 8/4). Ryan's proposal would have altered Medicare from a fee-for-service program to one that would have beneficiaries purchase coverage on the private market (California Healthline, 6/30).
"I don't know what the National Weather Service is predicting for August, but if you're a House Republican, in your districts it's going to be very, very hot," DCCC Chair Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said, referring to the campaign, which will include radio advertisements, billboards, and door-to-door visits and phone-banking efforts.
A number of freshmen representatives will be targeted, along with Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa.) and House Rules Committee Chair David Dreier (R-Calif.), both of whom will face more difficult re-elections because of redistricting ("Ballot Box," The Hill, 8/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.