No free pass for Medicare recipients in debt talks

July 9, 2011 - 8:44 AM
APTOPIX Obama Economy

President Barack Obama heads to the Oval Office after making a statement about the unemployment numbers in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Experts and lawmakers say people on Medicare are likely to feel the pain in a debt-busting deal like the one that President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are seeking.

Higher copayments are one possibility.

Low-income people on Medicaid may not be spared.

If the deal ends up involving a tax overhaul, workers and their families could face potential limits on the tax-free status of job-based health insurance.

Obama has scheduled a Sunday meeting with congressional leaders to discuss the debt impasse. The president wants a compromise that would reduce future deficits in exchange for lifting the $14.3 trillion cap on the national debt.

Action is needed so the government can keep paying its bills beyond Aug. 2.