Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
During last night’s State of the Union address the President discussed changing the way government pays for Medicare. Here is an excerpt from the address:
The president noted that some in Congress have suggested preserving the defense budget by reducing Medicare and Social Security, in addition to cutting education and job training.
“That idea is even worse,” he said. “Yes, the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of healthcare for an aging population. And those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms.”
Not doing so would put other programs – “investments we need for our children … secure retirement for future generations” – at risk, the president said. Without giving specifics, he said that when it comes to the Medicare program, he is “prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of healthcare savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.”
Touting the cost savings his Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has already achieved, Obama proposed reducing taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies, asking more from wealthy seniors and bending the cost curve by “changing the way our government pays for Medicare” to reward care outcomes.
“And I am open to additional reforms from both parties, so long as they don’t violate the guarantee of a secure retirement,” Obama said. “Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep – but we must keep the promises we’ve already made.”