January 6, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Soaring healthcare spending - which helped pave the way for President Obama's health law - continued to moderate in 2012, the fourth year of a historic slowdown in how much the nation pays for medical treatment, according to a new government report. Overall spending on healthcare rose less than 4% in 2012, less than half the rate of a decade ago, independent economists at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services concluded. And for only the third time in the last 15 years, health spending rose more slowly than the overall economy.
December 11, 2013 |
Congressional budget negotiators reached a hard-fought deal Tuesday aimed at avoiding another government shutdown, agreeing on a plan that would restore some money to programs hit by impending across-the-board cuts but trim spending on federal retirees and raise fees on airline travel. Final passage of the $85-billion package, however, remains uncertain because of rising opposition from tea party lawmakers and influential conservative groups. A House vote, expected this week, will once again test the ability of Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio)
October 14, 2013 |
There are so many to choose from, but these four take the cake. In no particular order: 1. The Vitter amendment. Concocted by David Vitter (R-La.), this majestically cynical measure is based on the common misconception that members of Congress and their staffs are "exempted" from the Affordable Care Act. It would prohibit the government from paying for any part of the health insurance for federal legislators or their staff. The facts of the "exemption" are these: During the 2010 debate over the ACA, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
October 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John A. Boehner on Thursday proposed a six-week extension of the federal debt limit -- no conditions attached -- but it was unclear if a majority of his fellow Republicans would support it. Even some GOP leaders on Boehner's team balked at the proposal because it failed to include any of the party's demands for cutting spending or blocking President Obama's healthcare law. But in a brief news conference Thursday morning,...
October 5, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The urgency to end the government shutdown eased Saturday as the Pentagon said it would recall nearly all its furloughed civilian employees and House Republicans focused their attention to a broader budget battle with the White House. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's surprise announcement to call about 350,000 civilian defense workers back to work next week was expected to loosen pressure on Congress and the White House to quickly end the shutdown, which was in its fifth day Saturday.
October 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The partial government shutdown reduces the federal government's expenses but not enough to significantly push back the mid-October date by which the debt limit needs to be raised, according to Treasury Department officials and a think-tank analysis. The Treasury Department has estimated that the government would be at risk of a default if the debt limit is not raised by Oct. 17. The Bipartisan Policy Center, which has done extensive debt-limit analysis, has estimated that the so-called X Date for raising the debt limit is between Oct. 18 and Nov. 5. There's been speculation that the government shutdown could change those estimates, but in a letter to lawmakers this week, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said it would not. "Although the current lapse in appropriations creates some additional uncertainty, we do not believe it will impact our projections materially unless it continues for an extended period of time.