KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama Deficit Plan Likely A ‘Sharp Contrast’ To GOP Approach

On Medicare, President Barack Obama is expected to provide less taxpayer money for health care providers and to allocate more costs to beneficiaries. However, his plan is not likely to "deeply" slash Medicare, Medicaid or other domestic programs.

The Associated Press: Obama Sizes Up Options For Health Care Costs
President Barack Obama's plans to curb health care costs that drive the deficit would mean less taxpayer money for providers and more costs for beneficiaries as he draws from bipartisan ideas already on the table (Alonso-Zaldivar, 4/11).

Politico: Showtime For President Obama On Deficit
Last week's release of Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's controversial plan to privatize Medicare and a looming vote to raise the debt limit has forced the White House to unveil its own plan in a speech planned for George Washington University Wednesday afternoon. "The goal here," said a senior Democratic operative, speaking of Obama's address, "is to start dealing with the entitlement crisis, and get credit for doing so, without getting ripped apart like Paul Ryan has." White House aides say Obama genuinely cares about the deficit. ... Until recently, however, Obama had been comfortable letting House Republicans and a bipartisan group of six senators take the lead on entitlement reform, recognizing that any misstep could be cast as an attack on the cherished Medicare and Social Security benefits to middle-income seniors – a potential political disaster. But the GOP has succeeded in focusing the debate, at least in Washington, on deficit reduction (Budoff, Thrush, Nather, 4/12).

Los Angeles Times: Obama To Draw Sharp Contrast With GOP Over Deficit
President Obama will call for shrinking the nation's long-term deficits by raising taxes on wealthier Americans and requiring them to pay more into Social Security, drawing a barbed contrast with a Republican plan to save money by deeply slashing Medicare, Medicaid and other domestic spending (Nicholas, Parsons and Oliphant, 4/12).

The Washington Post: Obama Turns To His Bipartisan Deficit Commission's Blueprint For Reducing Debt
President Obama plans this week to respond to a Republican blueprint for tackling the soaring national debt by promoting a bipartisan approach pioneered by an independent presidential commission rather than introducing his own detailed plan (Montgomery and Goldfarb, 4/11).

The New York Times: GOP Plan For Medicare Could Shape 2012 Races
Just four months into their new majority, House Republicans face a potentially defining Medicare vote this week that is sure to become a centerpiece of Democratic efforts to recapture the House in 2012 and spill into the presidential and Senate campaigns as well (Hulse and Zeleny, 4/11).

The New York Times: Senators Surprised By Obama's Entry Into Fiscal Debate
The Republican, Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, and his Democratic negotiating partner, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, said they were surprised when Mr. Obama's senior White House strategist, David Plouffe, said on Sunday talk shows that Mr. Obama would ask Congress to join him in writing a long-range plan of domestic and military spending cuts and higher taxes for the wealthy. … Administration officials had believed the senators would announce agreement this week; that was a consideration in scheduling Mr. Obama's speech. The officials said a deal would suggest momentum for the broader bipartisan negotiations that Mr. Obama seeks - and contrast with what is expected to be divisive debate this week in the House over a Republican budget that would cut domestic spending deeply, including for Medicaid and Medicare, but largely spare the military and cut tax revenues (Calmes, 4/11).

Bloomberg: Senate Republican Chambliss Says Ryan's Budget Plan Won't Work
Sen. Saxby Chambliss said the U.S. House's 2012 budget proposal by fellow Republican Paul Ryan is "not going to work because it relies too heavily on spending cuts and doesn't raise tax revenue to help cut the deficit." Chambliss, of Georgia, is co-leader of a bipartisan group of six senators crafting a debt-reduction plan that may redirect the budget debate as Congress faces fights over raising the federal debt limit and the fiscal 2012 budget (Beasley and Pryzbyla, 4/11).

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