Massachusetts delegation calls on Obama to protect Medicare, Medicaid from cuts

Democrats have argued that the House-passed FY 2012 budget would make seniors pay much more for health coverage and cut $700 billion from Medicaid just as lower income people need that program the most.

"[S]lashing $700 billion does not trim the fat from Medicaid; it cuts the program to the bone," the letter said.

Rep. Edward Markey (Mass.), like other Democrats, argued that a debt-ceiling deal must include new taxes to increase the revenue side of the equation.

"If the GOP were truly serious about cutting the federal deficit, they would be voting in support of ending tax breaks for billionaires and the most profitable oil companies — not ending Medicare and eviscerating Medicaid and the programs that help children, Grandma and Grandpa, and the disabled," Markey said.