Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Moaning Abbreviated Edition

Well, I touched down in Connecticut at about 2 am and I should still be sleeping, but one woman called at 4 am and a man called at 8:30 am, so I'll have to work on getting back to sleep. In the meantime, I thought I'd give you a quick update.

As you know, we have a budget deal. $38.5 billion in budget cuts, and I'm still not clear on where are the cuts will come. But the cuts are real. Details are still emerging. And it appears that, despite the fact that the cuts are deep, some conservative GOPers will vote against the deal. Speaker Boehner is in the awkward position of needing Dem votes to pass the deal in the House. As for health reform and family planning, part of the deal is that there will be full debate and vote on repeal in the Senate. And a couple of health reform subsidies -- for example, allowing people to opt-out of employer-sponsored insurance and buy insurance on the Exchange with subsidies -- will be cut, as well. Although full repeal won't pass, it will force Dems to go on the record, and that's good enough for the GOP as we head up to the 2012 elections.

And now we're on to the 2012 budget. The President is going to lay out a plan to cut Medicaid and Medicare this week, and also to raise taxes. It will not be as brutal as the GOP plan, who proposed tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations rather than tax increases to raise revenue, but it will disappoint progressives and probably seniors, as well, some of whom are already upset at the concessions made in the 2011 budget deal. Meanwhile, the GOP are getting ready for the next fight -- Speaker Boehner has said the 2011 budget deal is only a first step.

And on that note, I'm going back to bed to try to get a little more sleep. Have a great day. Jennifer

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