To Cut Deficit, Rein in Health Costs: Orszag

Budget director makes White House's case for cutting expenses

By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 15, 2009 10:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – With the future of Medicare and Social Security in the headlines, the Obama administration is jumping at the chance to push its health care reform agenda. Up today: budget director Peter Orszag. "Slower growth rate in overall health-care spending would help to promote and sustain a slowdown in Medicare and Medicaid spending, too," Orszag writes in the Wall Street Journal.

Orszag makes his case with relatable examples—"families across America who have health insurance are seeing their take-home pay reduced and their household budgets strained"—and argues, "there appear to be significant opportunities to reduce health-care costs over time without impairing the quality of care or outcomes." He concludes bluntly: "We need to undertake comprehensive health-care reform, and the president is committed to getting that done this year."

Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., talks with Dr. Mark Anderson while touring a cardiology research lab before speaking about his health care plan on Tuesday, May 29, 2007.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag says that focusing on trimming health care costs is one of the critical steps to fixing the national budget.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
It's not just everyday people feeling the pinch of rising insurance payments and more expensive health care: the costs are spiraling on a state and federal level, too.   (©Paul Keleher)
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