Pelosi will 'never support' a deal that 'reduced benefits for Medicare'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that deficit reduction talks have been "civil and constructive," but she said she would not consider Medicare cuts to reduce spending.

"I could never support any arrangement that reduced benefits for Medicare -- absolutely not," Pelosi said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

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But she said there were glimmers of hope for bipartisan negotiators to end the budget stalemate that is dominating Congress.

"There is a bipartisan discussion going on that is civil and constructive and that they've come to some areas where they can possibly reach agreement," she said. "But nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to."

Asked if Democrats had their own plan to reform Medicare in opposition to Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal -- and Republicans have charged repeatedly that they do not -- Pelosi said her party has already taken steps to make Medicare sustainable.

"We have a half a trillion dollars in savings [in the healthcare reform law], which we plowed back into improved benefits for seniors in terms of prescription drugs, but, even more important than that, we made it stable for about 10 years into the -- added 10 years of solvency into the future," she said.

Asked about future reform plans, Pelosi mentioned reducing fraud and allowing the Health and Human Services secretary to negotiate drug prices.

"So if you're talking about lowering the cost, what ideas do people have, we have some," she said. "If you're talking about reducing the benefits, that's a non-starter."


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