KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

President’s Budget Adds To CMS For Health Law Implementation, Cuts Medicare/Medicaid

Reuters: Obama's '13 Budget Plan Would Ramp Up Healthcare Savings
President Barack Obama on Monday proposed more aggressive deficit reductions through savings from Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs than the White House put forward just five months ago. The president's budget proposal for fiscal year 2013 seeks a total of $364 billion in healthcare savings over 10 years, which the White House hopes to achieve by cutting Medicare and Medicaid payments to healthcare providers, raising costs on future Medicare beneficiaries and cracking down on waste and fraud (Morgan, 2/13).

The Associated Press/Businessweek: Obama Sends FY2013 Budget Proposals To Congress 
The projections in Obama's budget show that he is doing little to restrain the surge in these programs expected in coming years with the retirement of baby boomers. Obama's budget projects that Medicare spending will double over the coming decade from $478 billion this year to almost $1 trillion in 2022. Medicaid, the government health care program for the poor and disabled, would more than double from $255 billion this year to $589 billion by 2022. (Crutsinger, 2/13).

The Hill: Budget Includes Familiar Cuts To Medicare, Medicaid
President Obama’s budget proposal would require wealthy seniors to pay for a higher share of certain Medicare benefits. It would charge a co-pay for home healthcare services and put new limits on supplemental policies known as Medigap. ... On Medicaid, the White House again proposed a streamlined funding system that states do not support. The plan would combine various rates of federal funding into a single percentage. States and budget analysts say that approach would simply shift costs to the states, rather than actually controlling the cost of Medicaid. Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, said last year that the consolidated payment rates could be a "huge problem" for states (Baker, 2/13).

The New York Times: Republicans See Broken Promises and Gimmicks in Obama Budget
But Republicans weren’t waiting. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential hopeful, simultaneously accused Mr. Obama of dodging the tough decisions that must be made on burgeoning entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare and cutting Medicare benefits. ... "The president has failed to offer a single serious idea to save Social Security and is the only president in modern history to cut Medicare benefits for seniors," Mr. Romney added, referring to cuts largely to the private insurance side program, Medicare Advantage, that helped pay for the president’s health care law (Weisman, 2/13).

Politico Pro: Obama Budget Puts More Into Health Reform
CMS is one of the few health-related agencies to see a significant funding increase in the budget, released today. But even before the budget was officially released, Republicans promised to make it a fight. The CMS funding increase — of nearly $1 billion — would help the agency implement the health reform law. The budget also proposes payment reforms in Medicare and Medicaid, freezes NIH funding, and provides a small bump to the FDA, much of it in increased user fees. The budget also embraces a proposal from Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) that allows states to implement their own health reforms in 2014 instead of 2017 (Haberkorn, 2/13).

Kaiser Health News summarized earlier news coverage anticipating the budget release: Tax Increases, Medicare Cuts Expected In Obama Budget


This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.