Obama Vows Social Security, Medicare Reform

Will hold summit to hash out ways to rein in spending
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2009 8:05 AM CST
Barack Obama talks with the Washington Post editorial board Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009 at the Post's offices in Washington.   (AP Photo/Pool, Bill O'Leary)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama promised major overhauls for the country’s ever-growing entitlement programs yesterday in a wide-ranging interview with the Washington Post. We have “kicked this can down the road,” Obama said. “We are now at the end of the road.” Obama will hold a “fiscal responsibility summit” next month to discuss those and other reforms before he delivers his first budget.

Obama said entitlement reform is vital to the broader economic turnaround efforts. “Social Security we can solve,” he said, waving his hand. “The big problem is Medicare,” which can’t be solved without broader healthcare reform. Obama also promised immediate engagement in the Middle East, and said he’d consider it a failure if he can’t close Guantanamo Bay, or beat job loss forecasts. He also promised a new, more transparent financial regulatory system.