Congressional leaders indicated Sunday that long-standing partisan positions on future healthcare policy changes have hardened in the aftermath of a “status quo” election.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), a member of the "Gang of Six" group of bipartisan senators that offered a federal deficit reduction deal during last year's debt ceiling debate, said on ABC News' “This Week” that any debt-reduction deal expected in the coming weeks or months will need to include changes to Medicare and Medicaid.
“”Entitlements are choking us and we have to make the right kind of reforms to do it right and make sure we protect these programs,” Chambliss said.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), a member of the Budget Committee and co-chair of the 2011 supercommittee on deficit reduction, argued against any debt deal increasing co-payments for Medicare beneficiaries.
“All of the revenue falling on the middle class is not a fair and balanced way to get to a deal,” she said on the same program.
Meanwhile, House Republicans may continue their efforts to overturn all or portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a senior House Republican.
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) said on “Fox News Sunday” that President Barack Obama's re-election would not end Republican efforts to repeal the healthcare law.
“I can tell you, as a physician, we're not opposed to the president's healthcare law because of this election,” he said. “We're opposed because it's bad policy and it's bad for patients all across this land.”
Price's comments may reflect some division among House Republicans coming after Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) appeared resigned to the law when he said last week that “Obamacare is the law of the land.”