Obama Says He Will Not Stop Sequester By Simply Cutting Entitlements

In an address to Democratic lawmakers, the president says Republicans want to substitute the impending budget cuts by instead cutting Medicare and Social Security. But, he says closing tax loopholes is a better strategy.

The New York Times: Obama Tells House Democrats He Will Confront Republicans On Taxes
President Obama vowed Thursday to confront Republicans over the issue of closing tax loopholes, saying that he would relish a debate with those who insist that Congress has done all it should to get more tax revenue from wealthy individuals and corporations. ... "What they've suggested," he added, "is that the only way to replace it now is for us to cut Social Security, cut Medicare and not close a single loophole, not raise any additional revenue from the wealthiest Americans or corporations who have a lot of lawyers and accountants who are able to maneuver and manage and work and game the system. ... And I have to tell you, if that's an argument that they want to have before the court of public opinion, that is an argument I am more than willing to engage in," he said (Peters, 2/7).

Los Angeles Times: Obama Previews State Of The Union Address, Challenges GOP On Sequester
President Obama previewed his State of the Union speech themes during a pep talk to House Democrats on Thursday, while framing the fiscal battles with Congress in familiar terms as he called for an end to "governance by crisis." ... Obama, speaking to lawmakers over lunch in a ballroom on the grounds of a golf resort where Democrats are huddling for three days to plot strategy for the coming year, claimed that Republicans would seek to replace the sequester with cuts to entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, while refusing to raise new tax revenue (Memoli, 2/7).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.