What editorial writers are saying about the debt-ceiling deal
■ Congress approved legislation that raised the federal debt ceiling and avoided a default on spending for programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Posted Aug. 8, 2011.
The deal was seen as a relief for now, but it only puts off long-term decisions on health programs that serve many Americans.
Debt-ceiling deal taxes citizens' patience
Democrats put off the next debt-limit vote until after the 2012 presidential election, staved off severe cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and won defense cuts as they continue to link much of the current deficit to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that were initiated by the Bush administration. Republicans averted any sort of tax increase and ensured that this debate will continue. Yakima (Wash.) Herald-Republic, Aug. 3
Debt "deal" only delays some tough decisions a few months
Don't be fooled: Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid have escaped cuts right now, but the multilayered legislation creates a mechanism that could, and likely will, put them back on the table. Philadelphia Daily News, Aug. 3
We haven't heard the end of the debt crisis
What we've largely done in the U.S. is outsource the care of the elderly to the federal government through Medicare. This has largely relieved American families of the cost of caring for their very elderly parents and grandparents. Simply cutting Medicare would shift that end-of-life cost burden back to American families, which they will neither enjoy nor tolerate for long. Lewiston (Maine) Sun Journal, Aug. 3
Default averted, but deficit crisis still looms
The debt-limit deal focuses entirely on the roughly one-third of the budget that goes for defense and other discretionary spending. It doesn't rein in the big benefit programs (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security) that are driving future deficits. USA Today, Aug. 3
Washington fails America
Congress doesn't like to face up to distasteful problems. But there are two that cannot be ignored: Medicare and Social Security. By any standard of measurement, they cannot be sustained in their present forms in the coming decades. Buffalo (N.Y.) News, Aug. 2
Fiscal fantasy, cont.
Too many Americans have let themselves be pleasantly brainwashed into thinking that they can have generous government programs (especially for the elderly, who vote with a vengeance) and not have to pay what they really cost. And whenever somebody comes along to say (truthfully) that such popular government programs as Medicare can be run better and more cheaply (on a per-patient basis), they are hooted out of the room. Providence (R.I.) Journal, Aug. 3