A little dust-up happened tonight that likely tells us where the debate over Medicare Phase-Out is going. Shortly after 9 PM this evening the Washington Post emailed a breaking news alert which read “Medicare dropped from GOP budget proposal.” That kicked off a furious push back from the office of Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). And shortly after 10:30 PM the Post sent out a revised email with a new headline: “Republican leaders seeking compromise in deficit talks.” In the body of the email there was an editorial note: “The headline on an earlier alert incorrectly described the GOP position in deficit talks.”It’s not clear to me how much the article itself changed. My sense is little or none at all. And the initial headline probably was an aggressive read on just what Republicans are saying. But my sense is they were likely much more right than wrong.
From a distance it looks like Cantor was trying to signal without quite saying it that they’re not going to make the fight on Medicare — something to signal to Republicans in and out of Congress as well as to the President and his party. Only the story turned up in the Post less like implicit repositioning than flat out surrender. And to be clear, at least based on what’s in the article now, that headline does seem overstated.
Still, the effort to offload Medicare Phase-Out seems unmistakable. And the difficulty of doing so is made far greater by the fact that all but six members of the House GOP caucus have already voted for it.
We’ll certainly be hearing more about this tomorrow.