Obama budget will propose changes to Medicare in exchange for tax increases

Previews of President Barack Obama's budget proposal, which is expected to be released next week, indicate that he will signal a willingness to compromise with Republicans by including trims to Medicare. The blueprint, though, reportedly will not make major dents in Medicaid.

The New York Times: Obama Budget Reviving Offer Of Compromise With Cuts
President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say (Calmes, 4/4).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama's Budget Will Avoid Deep Cuts In Medicaid As He Presses States To Expand Aid For Poor
President Barack Obama's budget next week will steer clear of major cuts to Medicaid, including tens of billions in reductions to the health care plan for the poor that the administration had proposed only last year. Big cuts in the federal-state program wouldn't go over too well at a time that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is wooing financially skittish Republican governors to expand Medicaid coverage to millions who now are uninsured. That expansion in the states is critical to the success of Obama's health overhaul, which is rolling out this fall and early next year (4/4).

The Washington Post: Obama Budget Would Cut Entitlements In Exchange For Tax Increases
President Obama will release a budget next week that proposes significant cuts to Medicare and Social Security and fewer tax hikes than in the past, a conciliatory approach that he hopes will convince Republicans to sign onto a grand bargain that would curb government borrowing and replace deep spending cuts that took effect March 1. When he unveils the budget on Wednesday, Obama will break with the tradition of providing a sweeping vision of his ideal spending priorities, untethered from political realities (Goldfarb, 4/5).

CNN: Obama To Propose Changes To Medicare And Social Security In New Budget
President Barack Obama's upcoming budget will include proposed changes to Social Security and Medicare plus some new tax increases, changes that are an effort for the president to reach a deficit deal with Republicans, according to senior administration officials.The budget will include an offer Obama made to House Speaker John Boehner in December, officials said. That proposal included $400 billion in savings to Medicare over 10 years (Yellin, 4/5).

Politico: Obama Budget Includes Medicare, Social Security Cuts
President Barack Obama's budget will include the final deficit reduction offer he made to House Speaker John Boehner in December, including cuts to both Medicare and Social Security, according to a senior administration official…The administration hopes including the cuts -; adopting the chained CPI for Social Security and slashing about $400 billion from Medicare over the next decade -; can persuade Republicans to roll back the cuts in the sequester and agree to further revenue hikes. In total, the president's plan would reduce the deficit by $1.8 trillion over ten years (Robillard, 4/5).

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports on other specific Medicare plans being discussed -

The Wall Street Journal: Common Ground On Medicare Emerges
A long-standing idea of combining what consumers pay for their portion of Medicare hospital and doctor treatment costs is gaining new attention as lawmakers search for ways to slow the growth of what the government pays for the programs. The concept of merging the deductibles for Medicare Part A insurance, which covers hospital stays, and Part B, which covers doctors' services, is one of the few ideas that appeals to both parties (Radnofsky and Hook, 4/4).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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