KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama’s $3.7T Spending Plan Would Cut $370B From Medicare

Despite the White House's effort to find middle ground, news outlets report that its proposal to raise $580B by limiting tax benefits for top earners is angering some Republicans, while cuts to entitlement programs are angering some Democrats.

The Washington Post: Obama To Unveil $3.77 Trillion Spending Plan
President Obama plans Wednesday to unveil a $3.77 trillion spending plan that proposes modest new investments in infrastructure and education, major new taxes for the wealthy and significant reforms aimed at reducing the cost of Social Security and Medicare. As Washington barrels toward another potential showdown over the federal debt limit later this summer, administration officials said the blueprint lays down the president's bottom-line offer for getting federal borrowing under control (Montgomery, 4/10).

Los Angeles Times: Obama To Unveil Budget Proposal, Latest Offer In Deficit Talks
Obama’s budget cuts $200 billion from domestic programs, including trims to farm subsidies and reductions in some federal retirement benefits. The proposal counts $400 billion in health savings and Medicare changes. It includes another $200 billion in savings from defense and non-defense programs (Hennessey, 4/10).

The Wall Street Journal: Obama Reaches For Middle Ground With New Budget Plan
Mr. Obama's budget proposal will call for $3.77 trillion in spending for the fiscal year that begins in October, a senior administration official said, up 6% from projected spending levels in the current fiscal year. The higher spending would come from a combination of canceling the across-the-board spending cuts, known as the sequester, that began in March and pumping more money into education, infrastructure and mental-health treatment, among other things. … The deficit would fall more sharply later in the decade under the president's plan, senior administration officials said, as a number of changes would kick in, affecting programs like Social Security, Medicare and military spending (Paletta, 4/9).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama Sends Congress $3.77 Trillion Spending Plan For 2014 Seeking Elusive Grand Bargain
But instead of moving Congress nearer a grand bargain, Obama's proposals so far have managed to anger both Republicans, who are upset by higher taxes, and Democrats upset with cuts to Social Security benefits. The president's spending and tax plan is two months late. The administration blames the delay on the lengthy "fiscal cliff" negotiations at the end of December and then fights over the March 1 automatic spending cuts (4/10).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Liberal Groups, Lawmakers Balk At Entitlement Cuts In Budget, 2nd Term Overtures To GOP
Liberal lawmakers from Congress and a coalition of like-minded groups rallied outside the White House on Tuesday, voicing frustration at the Democratic president they say has let them down by proposing cuts to Medicare and Social Security. One day before President Barack Obama was set to unveil his budget, organizers stacked nine file boxes in front of the White House that they said contained more than 2 million signatures on petitions telling Obama they won’t stand for cuts to entitlement programs cherished by the Democratic base (4/9).

USA Today: On Left And Right, Obama’s Budget Anticipated As A Dud
President Obama will unveil his budget later today, offering a fiscal plan that even before it's officially released is eliciting groans from his conservative opponents as well as his backers on the left. … The plan claims to achieve $400 billion in savings by cutting waste and fraud in Medicare and $580 billion in new revenues by limiting tax benefits for top earners. It also saves another $230 billion by restructuring cost-of-living adjustments for beneficiaries of social security, according to a White House overview of the budget (Madhani, 4/10).

Politico: Obama Budget Splits Medicare Cuts Between Patients And Providers
The Obama administration budget would squeeze $370 billion in Medicare savings by cutting payments to drug companies and providers but also by making some seniors pay more. The proposals, previewed by the White House and to be formally released later today, are familiar from deficit-reduction talks in Washington. They were included in the White House's most recent offer to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) "because that offer is still on the table," a senior administration official said in a background briefing call with reporters (Norman, 4/10).

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