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Boehner comments show tough road ahead for 'fiscal cliff' talks

Published on Nov 23, 2012 7:19 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - New comments from top Republican lawmaker John Boehner slamming health care reforms illustrate how hard it will be for Washington to reach a deficit reduction deal when talks resume next week, analysts said on Thursday.

President Barack Obama and the United States (US) Congress will begin negotiating next week on a plan that could avert tax hikes and spending cuts set to begin in January that economists worry could push the US economy over the "fiscal cliff" and into recession.

Mr Boehner did not explicitly mention the "fiscal cliff" talks in an opinion piece published in the Cincinnati Enquirer on Wednesday. But he argued the nation cannot afford the costs of Mr Obama's 2010 health care reform law, given the US' sluggish economy and massive US$16 trillion (S$19.6 trillion) debt.

"That's why I've been clear that the law has to stay on the table as both parties discuss ways to solve our nation's massive debt challenge," said Mr Boehner, who is a key player in the talks.

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