House Democrats Urge Obama Not to Cave on Medicare

Washington – House Democrats pressed President Obama on Thursday not to cave in budget talks with Republicans, especially by yielding on cuts to Medicare.

Maintaining the Medicare program for seniors was a major component of the conversation, and several Democratic leaders urged the president to stand firmly against cuts.

“Everyone agreed that cuts are necessary but not on the backs of seniors and middle class,” said a Democratic aide.

Obama hosted the Democratic caucus at the White House on the heels of a similar meeting with House Republicans earlier this week as the administration works to broker a budget reduction deal that would allow a vote to raise the nation’s borrowing capacity.

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The federal government faces a potentially catastrophic default by Aug. 2 if the $14.3-trillion debt limit is not lifted.

Republicans have increasingly insisted that Medicare cuts be on the table in budget talks. Medicare is a driver of federal deficits, but the GOP plan to reduce outlays by creating a voucher-like system that could shift costs to the next generation of seniors has run into political resistance.

Christi Parsons contributed to this report.

© 2011 McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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