KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Debt Unsustainable, Obama Commission Chairs Say; Orszag’s Successor To Be Left With A Tough Job

The Associated Press: The two chairman of President Obama's debt commission told the National Governors Association Sunday that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are sucking up the entire federal discretionary budget. "The rest of the federal government, including fighting two wars, homeland security, education, art, culture, you name it, veterans, the whole rest of the discretionary budget, is being financed by China and other countries," Alan Simpson, a Republican, said. The other chairman, Erskine Bowles, a Democrat, told the governors, "This debt is like a cancer. It is truly going to destroy the country from within" (Johnson, 7/11).

The Hill: Meanwhile, Peter Orszag, Obama's budget chief, will be leaving a tough job for his successor when he leaves the White House later this month. "Orszag's successor as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is likely to write budgets that are much more austere than the ones crafted during the first two years of the administration. The $13 trillion national debt is on an unsustainable upward path, hastened by the recession and growing health care costs, and the OMB must find ways to rein it in" (Alarkon, 7/11).

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