Default or Deliverance? Healthcare Industry Could Lose as Congress Averts Debt Crisis

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Negotiations and partisan posturing over a deficit reduction package continue this week in Washington, D.C. President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) are expected to set the tone for a new round of negotiations alongside Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Vice President Joe Biden’s efforts to forge a bipartisan compromise ended abruptly Thursday when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) left the talks. Biden had been meeting for several weeks with six congressional leaders (Cantor, Kyl, House Minority Whip James Clyburn (DSC), House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (DHI)) in closed-door talks to reduce the budget deficit by several trillion dollars. Deficit reduction is seen by both parties as a trade-off to enable congressional passage of an increase in the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has stated that failure to raise the debt ceiling by August 2 could have catastrophic consequences for the nation’s economy.

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