Obama ‘push­ing for a big deal’ in debt-ceil­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

Ac­knowl­edg­ing that fed­eral lawmakers are “run­ning out of time” on the debt-ceil­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in a news con­fer­ence said he’s still push­ing for a big deal and men­tioned a few health­care en­ti­tle­ment re­forms un­der con­sid­er­a­tion in a deficit-re­duc­tion pack­age (See re­lated story, p. 8). “You can en­vi­sion a sit­u­a­tion for some­body in my po­si­tion—me hav­ing to pay a lit­tle bit more on pre­mi­ums or co­pays—would be ap­pro­pri­ate, and that could make a dif­fer­ence,” the pres­i­dent said re­gard­ing means-test­ing for Medi­care ben­e­fi­cia­ries. Obama em­pha­sized that lead­ers should make sure that cur­rent Medi­care ben­e­fi­cia­ries “as much as com­ing out of the House where we voucher­ize the pro­gram,” Obama said, adding that mod­est mod­i­fi­ca­tions could yield tril­lions in en­ti­tle­ment sav­ings while still main­tain­ing the in­tegrity of those pro­grams. “In­clud­ing on the provider side: I think it’s im­por­tant to keep in mind that drug com­pa­nies are still do­ing very well through the Medi­care pro­gram,” Obama said. “Even though we made more drugs avail­able at a cheaper price, there’s more work to be done there.”

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