Obama: Health Reform Law Boosts Future Of Medicare
On Saturday, news outlets covered President Barack Obama's weekly address. This week the topic was Medicare.
The Washington Post: "President Obama on Saturday took credit for placing Medicare on a more certain fiscal path and pledged to American seniors that they would see more help soon paying for drug costs in a direct appeal to an important segment of the midterm electorate. Citing a report issued this week by the Medicare trustees, Obama said the health-care overhaul he pushed through Congress this year has added at least a dozen years to Medicare's solvency" (Wilson, 8/7).
Bloomberg: "Obama, in his weekly address on the radio and Internet, credited the overhaul of U.S. health-care policy he pushed Congress to approve this year with helping to 'preserve Medicare for generations to come. The steps we took this year to reform the health-care system have put Medicare on a sounder financial footing' he said" (Johnston, 8/7).
The Associated Press: "Seniors already are benefiting from that new health care law, said Obama, noting that many have received $250 rebates to help buy medicine, for example. Obama said the law and efforts by his administration to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse both in Medicare and across government generally are making the program stronger and cutting health care costs for seniors" (8/7).
The Hill: "Still, the Trustees report hailed by Obama was filled with caveats, the biggest of which is that the projected cost savings are dependent on future cuts that even Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius suggested are doubtful. The report's conclusion hinges on Congress agreeing to a 30 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors over the next few years, as well as cuts in funding to hospitals and other providers. Without those cuts -- both of which are politically unpalatable options and ones lawmakers are unlikely to embrace when the time comes -- the financial projections are not so rosy" (D'Aprile, 8/7).
Roll Call quoted Obama's conclusion: "Medicare isn't just a program. It's a commitment to America's seniors that after working your whole life, you've earned the security of quality health care you can afford. As long as I am president, that's a commitment this country is going to keep" (8/7).
Politico: "The president's message in his weekly radio and Internet address follows release of a National Council on Aging poll that found senior citizens have little understanding of the benefits of Obama's signature legislative achievement. To get the word out, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a TV ad last week featuring actor Andy Griffith touting some of the new benefits. Several Republican senators, who disagree with Obama's claims that the law shores up Medicare, protested the $700,000 cost of airing the ad in which Griffith said 'good things are coming' for seniors" (Budoff Brown, 8/7).
The Wall Street Journal: "Republicans focused their response on the grim jobs report that came out Friday, which found that the country lost 131,000 jobs last month. Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.) said in the weekly GOP radio address that the Democrats in Congress were focused on spending rather than regulatory and tax relief for families and small businesses" (Raice, 8/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.