White House: health law change in budget deal is modest adjustment

October 16, 2013
Senator John McCain talks to reporters in U.S. Capitol in Washington
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) talks to reporters in the U.S. Capitol in Washington October 16, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Wednesday defended the inclusion of a change to President Barack Obama's healthcare law in the proposed Senate budget deal as a modest adjustment, rather than a concession that the administration was making to prevent a debt default.

"The income verification provision ... was negotiated by Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans and is a modest adjustment to the existing Affordable Care Act law," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a briefing. "We've always said we were willing to make improvements and adjustments to the law," he added. "Ransom would be a wholly different thing."

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Eric Beech)