House Democrats from 16 committees and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee submitted their deficit-reduction recommendations to the debt panel. The 12-member panel, also known as the “supercommittee”, had requested House and Senate committees to submit their ideas at the end of last week.

Some of the House Democrats’ deficit-reduction recommendations included:

  • Maintaining the current Medicare eligibility age
  • Avoiding shifting costs for entitlements to states or beneficiaries
  • Reducing waste, fraud and abuse in government health programs
  • Maintaining the Prevention and Public Health Fund established by the health care reform law

Senate Republicans recommended the following actions for deficit-reduction:

  • Repealing the federal health reform law
  • Overhauling the medical malpractice system
  • Requiring high-income Medicare beneficiaries to pay more for services
  • Turning Medicaid into a block grant system
  • Finding additional Medicaid savings through new provider reimbursement systems, healthy behavior promotions, coordination of long-term care benefits and improved coordination of care for individuals who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid.

As part of the federal budget agreement, the “supercommittee”, must develop and pass by November 23 $1.5 trillion in federal spending cuts over 10 years. If the debt-panel passes a plan, it will then be submitted to Congress. Congress would have until the end of December to pass the panel’s plan. Failure to do so would trigger a series of across-the-board cuts.