May 24, 2011 / 1:52 PM / 6 years ago

Joe Biden group to tackle Medicare and Medicaid: aide

<p>Vice President Joe Biden gives a thumbs-up as he departs after meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to work on a legislative framework for comprehensive deficit reduction at the Blair House in Washington May 10, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst</p>

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden and top lawmakers will examine government-run health plans on Tuesday as they try to work out a deal to raise the United States’ borrowing authority, a congressional aide said.

Healthcare costs, specifically those incurred by the Medicare program for retirees and the Medicaid program for the poor, have emerged as a major sticking point in deficit-reduction talks designed to give lawmakers enough political cover to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

Reporting by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Vicki Allen

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