Senate leaders reach a deal to end the federal government shutdown/debt ceiling impasse
At midday on Wednesday, Oct. 16, with one day left before the U.S. Treasury Department was set to lose its ability to pay any more of the nation's bills, and 16 days after the federal government was shut down, U.S. Senate leaders reached an agreement to raise the federal government's debt ceiling through Feb. 7 and to reopen the government. Importantly, it now appears that Speaker of the House of Representatives John boehner (R-Oh.) will allow a vote to go forward on the proposal in the House, which represents a breakthrough that had not occurred until today.
As Lori Montgomery, Paul Kane and Debbi Wilgoren reported in the Washington Post, the deal "avoids any major concessions on Obama's signature Affordable Care Act, a major victory for Democrats and a repudiation to House and Senate Republicans who for weeks tried to use the threat of a shutdown and potential default to force changes in the healthcare law."
The Post report noted that, "In addition to lifting the $16.7 trillion debt limit, the emerging measure would fund the government through Jan. 15, delaying the next trheat of a shutdown until after the holidays. It would set up a conference committee to hammer out broader budget issues, such as whether to replace deep cuts to agency budgets known as the sequester with other savings. Under the Senate proposal," the Post report noted, "Republicans who shut down the government in a bid to undermine President Obama's healthcare program would win no major changes ot hte law. but they would get additional safeguards to ensure that people who receive subsidies to buy health insurance are in fact eligible."
Healthcare Informatics will continue to update its readers on additional developments in this evolving story.