Deficit commission: four reasons it could fail

Getting to 'yes' on a plan to stabilize the national debt still faces big hurdles.

3. Which way on health policy?

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D) of Illinois, speaks as a member of President Obama's deficit reduction commission Monday on Capitol Hill.

Health care is forecast to be the biggest driver of federal spending growth in the years ahead, but Democrats and Republicans differ on how to tame this problem.

The commission plan, while trying to walk a tightrope between the two sides, has pleased neither one. Republicans complained that its cost-control efforts will end up pushing Americans toward a "public option" for health insurance, rather than curbing costs through private sector choice and competition. Sen. Mike Crapo (R) of Idaho voiced Republican concerns that the plan's health-care proposals are too "limited" in scope.

Some Democrats have voiced concern that the commission plan will make Medicare recipients pay more out of pocket for the care they receive. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D) of Illinois called that "unconscionable."

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