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What might Democrats give up in 'fiscal cliff' talks?

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The GOP also wants provisions of the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” revisited.

“It’s ridiculous to suggest that we make changes to Medicare and Medicaid, while leaving $1.6 trillion in new Obamacare spending untouched,” said Senator McConnell on Tuesday.

The White House, for its part, continues to make noises about the big entitlement programs, saying they’re on the table as part of a multipart deficit solution that also includes increased revenue.

In past fiscal negotiations with Congress, Obama has indicated he might be open to a gradual increase in the Medicare eligibility age, as well as some limits on future Social Security checks. But in recent days White House spokesman Jay Carney has said the administration believes Social Security shouldn’t be part of the current talks, since by itself it isn’t adding to the deficit. And some core Democratic constituencies, particularly liberals and unions, would fight hard to keep the age of Medicare eligibility from rising.

Unions and progressive groups met Tuesday with administration officials and reported themselves satisfied as to where the president currently stands.

“One person at the meeting ... came away convinced that the White House would ultimately prove willing to go over the fiscal cliff if necessary, rather than give ground on core demands,” writes liberal Greg Sargent Tuesday on his Plum Line blog at the Washington Post.

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