The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

December 12, 2012

No budging as fiscal cliff talks appear stalled

(Continued)

"The president and his allies have taken so many things off the table the only thing left is the varnish," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

But in an ABC interview Tuesday, Obama did not reject a Republican call to raise the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67. The proposal is "something that's been floated," Obama said, not mentioning that he had tacitly agreed to it in the deficit-reduction talks with Boehner more than a year ago that ended in failure.

"When you look at the evidence, it's not clear that it actually saves a lot of money," Obama said. "But what I've said is, let's look at every avenue, because what is true is we need to strengthen Social Security, we need to strengthen Medicare for future generations, the current path is not sustainable because we've got an aging population and health care costs are shooting up so quickly."

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