Cantor: Medicare reforms may be tied to debt-limit vote

House Republicans may tie their proposed entitlement reforms to a vote on raising the debt limit, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Sunday morning. 

Cantor, appearing on "Fox News Sunday," said Republicans can use the upcoming debt-limit vote to push through Medicare and Medicaid reforms outlined in their 2012 budget. The plan, which would eventually turn Medicare into a voucher-like program and convert Medicaid to block grant, virtually has no chance of passing through a Democratic Senate or White House on its own. 

“Just as we saw happen in this week,” Cantor said, referring to the last-minute agreement to keep the government running, “there are leverage moments.

“There’s no way Republicans are going to increase the debt limit without guaranteed steps to measure spending doesn’t get out of control again,” he added.

White House senior adviser David Plouffe, who appeared earlier on the show, urged Republicans to avoid “brinksmanship” on a vote to raise the debt ceiling. 

“All leaders in Washington have said clearly, ‘We’re not going to default on the debt limit, we can’t do that,’” Plouffe said.