KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Sperling: Obama 2014 Budget Won’t Cut Medicaid

White House economics adviser Gene Sperling also told a gathering at a conference sponsored by Families USA that GOP efforts to transform the program into a block grant would be an "attack."

CQ Healthbeat: Sperling Says Obama Budget Proposal Won't Cut Medicaid
White House economics adviser Gene Sperling told a gathering of left-leaning activists Thursday that President Barack Obama's fiscal 2014 budget proposal would not cut Medicaid even though the administration put as much as $100 billion in such reductions on the table during the recent deficit reduction negotiations. But that decision means "we're going to have to look harder for Medicare savings," he warned (Reichard, 1/31).

Medpage Today: Medicaid: Cut Cost Not Benefits
Reducing overall health care costs -- and not cutting benefits -- is the way to address rising spending on entitlement programs, a senior White House adviser said Thursday. Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president for economic policy, slammed efforts to change Medicaid, addressing advocates at a conference here sponsored by Families USA, a liberal health policy group. "The right answer and the best answer for reducing entitlement savings is to reduce the cost of health care in a way that does not compromise quality," Sperling said. The economic adviser specifically mentioned Republican efforts to transform Medicaid into a block grant program -- a move the GOP says would cut Medicaid spending by about a third -- as one effort to attack Medicaid (Pittman, 1/31).

The Hill: White House Vow On Medicaid Wins Praise
President Obama's top economic adviser said that the White House will accept a fight on Medicare in order to protect Medicaid from cuts — a promise that is winning fast praise from advocates for the low-income health insurance program. Gene Sperling made the remark Thursday at a conference organized by Families USA, a liberal advocacy group, saying that even Medicaid cuts endorsed by the administration in the past will no longer be on the table as a series of fiscal deadlines approach (Viebeck, 1/31).

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