At Facebook, Obama Calls GOP Plan For Medicare ‘Radical’
Although President Barack Obama used strong and critical language to describe the Republican proposals to change Medicare and Medicaid, he also indicated that he expected to reach a deal to reduce the deficit without transforming these programs. Meanwhile, some GOP leaders are asking the White House for more specifics on the president's plan.
The Associated Press: Obama Calls GOP Medicare, Spending Plan Radical
President Barack Obama declared Wednesday that congressional Republicans are pushing a radical plan to trim Medicare and Medicaid, ramping up the rhetoric before a friendly Facebook crowd at the headquarters of the popular social networking site. Still, as Obama and Congress approach crucial decisions on spending and the national debt the president said he thinks a bipartisan accord is possible (Pace, 4/20).
The Washington Post: At Facebook, Obama Seeks Friends For Deficit Plan
But he remained in disagreement with Republicans that social services such as Medicare and Medicaid should be cut while the government attempts to shore up its fiscal woes. "Nothing is easier than solving problems on the backs of people who are poor, powerless, or people who don't have lobbyists or clout," Obama said (Kang, 4/21).
Politico: At Facebook, Barack Obama Criticizes Republicans' Budget
With the battle lines on the deficit fight hardening, Obama used stronger language than he did on Tuesday at a similar town hall in Virginia to denounce the GOP proposal, which would make major changes to Medicare and Medicaid. Obama continued to voice optimism that Republicans and Democrats would strike a deal to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade or 12 years, and that it can be done through prudent cuts that don't transform Medicare and Medicaid (Budoff Brown, 4/20).
Meanwhile, from the GOP perspective:
The Detroit Free Press: Michigan Congressmen Ask Obama For Specifics On Medicare Plan
Two Michigan congressmen both chairs of key committees in the House are asking President Barack Obama for specifics on the general plans he outlined last week for reforming Medicare, questioning the source of the savings he envisions. U.S. Reps. Dave Camp of Midland and Fred Upton of St. Joseph, both Republicans, sent the letter to the White House on Wednesday (Spangler, 4/20).
Modern Healthcare: Lawmakers Press Obama On Plans For Medicare
The chairmen of two powerful House committees on Wednesday sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for hard details on the administration's plan to achieve hundreds of billions in Medicare and Medicaid savings as a way to help lower the nation's debt. A week to the day after Obama outlined his deficit-reduction framework, Reps. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in their letter that the president's plan calls for $340 billion in Medicare and Medicaid savings by 2021 and $480 billion by 2023, but that "it is unclear from where or how those reductions in spending are achieved" (Zigmond, 4/20).
MinnPost: Tax and Medicare Poll Results That May Have Repubs Squirming Today
The Ryan idea is relatively new to most Americans. There will be big arguments about how to describe it accurately (although the [Washington] Post poll did not adopt any of the highly-charged words that Dems will use, like "privatize" or phrases like "end Medicare as we know it.") And who knows what various respondents think it meant by "a program of defined benefits." Perhaps they are just responding and responding negatively to any change in Medicare's structure. But the frame that Obama has constructed for the basic choice that America will have to make is something like this: Would you rather cut Medicare or raise taxes on rich people? (Eric Black, 4/20).