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Deficit-panel chiefs draw resistance to health-spending proposals

The Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2010

The leaders of President Barack Obama's deficit-reduction commission have called for broader cuts in medical spending than contained in this year's health-care overhaul, stirring opposition among health-care companies, doctors and some consumer groups.

How to tackle health costs has become a sticking point for the 18-member committee, which last week concluded three days of meetings without a firm agreement among members.

Under proposals from the bipartisan commission's two co-chairmen— Alan Simpson, a retired Wyoming Republican senator, and Erskine Bowles, a White House chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton—seniors in Medicare and military retirees would pay a greater portion of their health costs, doctors would get lower reimbursements and employers would face a cap on their tax exemption for providing workers with health insurance.

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