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Democrats: Don't cut Medicaid in fiscal cliff deal

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December 11, 2012 12:53 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON — Liberal Democratic members of Congress are warning President Barack Obama to not cut the Medicaid health care program as part of negotiations with Republicans over avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff.

Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va., said Tuesday that Obama knows that "our votes are at stake" over the issue.

He and other Democrats held a news conference with labor and other liberal groups to say that cuts to Medicaid should not be accepted as a trade-off with Republicans in exchange for Obama's goal of raising income tax rates on the highest earners. Medicaid covers nearly 60 million low-income and disabled people.

Obama and Republicans are negotiating over ways to avoid the "fiscal cliff," steep tax increases and spending cuts that will otherwise automatically take effect in January.