Congress is unlikely to reach a “grand bargain” to overhaul Medicare and Medicaid during the post-election lame duck session, according to two congressional budget leaders.
In successive appearances Tuesday at a deficit-reduction summit sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the Budget Committee, and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the panel's ranking member, agreed that any deal to enact long-term changes to the federal healthcare programs is more likely in 2013.
“In the lame duck, you'll see something to make sure we don't have a train wreck,” Ryan said when asked about entitlement overhaul in the post-election legislative session. “Does that mean we'll have permanent entitlement reform, a grand bargain that will fix every fiscal problem once and for all? I don't see that happening.”