Obama-Boehner 2011 Talks a Starting Point for Fiscal Cliff Deal

Medicare and Social Security COL adjustments could again be part of negotiations

The blueprint for a deal to avoid a fiscal nightmare early next year may be found in the failed debt negotiations between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner in mid-2011.

Part of their talks on a $4 trillion deficit-cutting plan included a gradual increase in the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and an alternative yardstick for calculating inflation that would reduce annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments.

‘Get This Done’

“Trying to get this done as soon as possible, as broadly as possible, as deeply as possible makes the most sense,” New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat in the chamber, said yesterday.

Less Open

Conrad said in a separate interview that Democrats will be less open to the level of spending cuts that Obama earlier offered Boehner because the 2011 law that increased the debt ceiling included $900 billion in cuts. “It’s going to be a new deal because things have changed and changed quite dramatically,” he said.

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