Obama Offers Medicare Cuts

As long as GOP is ready to raise taxes

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 5, 2011 5:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Medicare and Medicaid are on the table and President Obama has told Republican lawmakers he's ready to start cutting tens of billions of dollars from the programs to reduce the federal deficit—as long as Republicans are prepared to accept tax raises in return. "We are very willing to entertain savings in Medicare,' Sen. Chuck Schumer says. "Medicare gives very good health care very inefficiently."

Administration officials have signaled that they are willing to accept cuts of up to $100 billion over the next decade, including cuts to payments to hospitals for uncollectable debt and doctor training. Health care industry lobbyists have launched an advertising blitz to prevent the cuts. "Congress smells blood," the chief lobbyist for nonprofit nursing homes tells the New York Times.

As part of budget negotiations, Democrats are considering allowing Medicaid to use its bulk buying power to negotiate lower prescription drug prices
As part of budget negotiations, Democrats are considering allowing Medicaid to use its bulk buying power to negotiate lower prescription drug prices   (Getty Images)
In this June 30, 2011 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in Philadelphia.
In this June 30, 2011 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
President Barack Obama makes remarks during a fundraiser Thursday, June 30, 2011, in Philadelphia.
President Barack Obama makes remarks during a fundraiser Thursday, June 30, 2011, in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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