Topics: Health Costs, Politics, Health Reform
The GOP presidential candidate, speaking to the Congressional Health Care Caucus, a Republican group, outlined his plans for controlling health care costs by reducing the role of the federal government in the health system.
Topics: Politics, Health Reform
Watch video excerpts from the Republican presidential candidate's address to the Congressional Health Care Caucus, where he outlined his plans for health policy.
Topics: Health Costs, Medicare, Medicaid, Politics
In his news conference today, President Barack Obama discussed the debt ceiling, the deficit, negotiating with Republicans and paid some attention to entitlements including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Transcript of excerpts:
"[It] is possible for us to construct a package that would be balanced, would share sacrifice, would involve both parties taking on their sacred cows, would involve some meaningful changes to Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, that would preserve the integrity of the programs and keep our sacred trust with our seniors but make sure those programs were there for not just this generation but for the next generation."
"[T]he vast majority of Democrats on Capitol Hill would prefer not to have to do anything on entitlements, would prefer, frankly, not to have to do anything on some of these debt and deficit problems. And I'm sympathetic to their concerns, because they're looking after folks who are already hurting and already vulnerable and there are a lot of folks out there and seniors who are dependent on some of these programs.
And what I've tried to explain to them is, number one, if you look at the numbers, then Medicare, in particular, will run out of money, and we will not be able to sustain that program, no matter how much taxes go up. I mean, it's not an option for us to just sit by and do nothing.
And if you're a progressive who cares about the integrity of Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, and believes that it is part of what makes our country great, that we look after our seniors and we look after the most vulnerable, then we have an obligation to make sure that we make those changes that are required to make it sustainable over the long term."
Surrounded by party members, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released the GOP's 2012 budget proposal Tuesday, which would dramatically change the Medicare and Medicaid programs in the future, to slow the growth of health care costs. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., responded, claiming that the GOP doesn't reform Medicare, "They deform it.”
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was the lone witness at the Senate Appropriations Health Subcommittee hearing today. Subcommittee chairman Tom Harkin was adamant that the health law would not lose funding while ranking Republican Sen. Richard Shelby called the law too expensive.
Topics: Health Reform, Politics
During a Senate Finance Committee hearing titled "Health Reform: Lessons Learned During the First Year," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius praised the health law and faced questions from critical Republican members on the panel. Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, were especially interested in the Medicaid expansion requirements of the law and HHS’ policy on granting waivers to states.
President Obama said Tuesday that he is willing to work with Republicans to help address the "huge problems" of high Medicare and Medicaid spending, but said that all sides are going to have to compromise on the matter.
Here's a partial transcript of Obama's comments:
Medicare and Medicaid are huge problems because health care costs are risingeven as the population is getting older. So what I've said is that I'm prepared to work with Democrats and Republicans to start dealing with that in a serious way. We made a down payment on that with health care reform last year, that's part of what health care reform was about. The projected deficits are going to be about $250 billion lower over the next 10 years than they otherwise would have been because of health care reform. And they'll be a $1 trillion lower than they otherwise would have been if we hadn't done health care reform for the following decade. But we're still going to have to do more, so what I've said is that if you look at the history of how these deals get done, typically it's not because there's an Obama plan out there, it's because Democrats and Republicans are both committed to tackling this issue in a serious way. If we think it's important that our senior citizens continue to enjoy health care in their golden years — that costs money. … My hope is that what's different this time is we have an adult conversation where everybody says 'Here's what's important and here's how we're going to pay for it.' Now, there are going to be some significant disagreements about what people think is important and that's how Democracy should work. And, at the margins, I think, that I'll end up having to compromise on some things, hopefully others will have that same spirit. If we're cutting infant formula to poor kids, is that who we are as a people? I mean, we're going to have to have those debates. Particularly if it turns out that making those cuts doesn't really make a big dent in the long-term deficits, then I think the American people may conclude 'Let's have a more balanced approach.' But that's what we're going to be talking about over the next couple months, as I said, I know everybody would like to see it resolved today, it probably will not be.
Topics: Health Reform, Insurance
HHS is considering a number of options to make sure healthy, less costly people are attracted to the long-term care program and costs are held in check.
See Related Story: Sebelius Vows To Ensure CLASS Program Is Financially Viable
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., delivers the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union speech and vows the GOP will work to replace the health law. (View President Obama's State of the Union remarks on health care here.)
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Chairman of the House Budget Committee, delivered the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union message. Here are the excerpts concerning health care: The facts are clear: Since taking office, President Obama has signed into law spending increases of nearly 25% for domestic government agencies – an 84% increase when you include the failed stimulus. ... Then the President and his party made matters even worse, by creating a new open-ended health care entitlement. What we already know about the President’s health care law is this: Costs are going up, premiums are rising, and millions of people will lose the coverage they currently have. Job creation is being stifled by all of its taxes, penalties, mandates and fees. Businesses and unions from around the country are asking the Obama Administration for waivers from the mandates. Washington should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. The President mentioned the need for regulatory reform to ease the burden on American businesses. We agree – and we think his health care law would be a great place to start. Last week, House Republicans voted for a full repeal of this law, as we pledged to do. And we will work to replace it with fiscally responsible, patient-centered reforms that actually reduce costs and expand coverage. Health care spending is driving the explosive growth of our debt. And the President’s law is accelerating our country toward bankruptcy. ... Speaking candidly, as one citizen to another: We still have time. But not much time. If we continue down our current path, we know what our future will be. Just take a look at what’s happening to Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom and other nations in Europe. They didn’t act soon enough; and now their governments have been forced to impose painful austerity measures: large benefit cuts to seniors and huge tax increases on everybody. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., also responded to the president's address. Here are excerpts of her speech, delivered on television and to supporters via webcam: I want to thank the Tea Party Express and Tea Party HD for inviting me to speak this evening. I'm here at their request and not to compete with the official Republican remarks. .... Well, deficits were unacceptably high under President Bush, but they exploded under President Obama's direction, growing the national debt by an astounding $3.1 trillion. Well, what did we buy? Instead of a leaner, smarter government, we bought a bureaucracy that now tells us which lightbulbs to buy and which may put 16,500 IRS agents in charge of policing President Obama's health care bill. Obamacare mandates and penalties may even force many job-creators to just stop offering health insurance altogether, unless, of course, yours is one of the more than 222 privileged companies, or unions, that's already received a government waiver under Obamacare. In the end, unless we fully repeal Obamacare, a nation that currently enjoys the world's finest health care might be forced to rely on government-run coverage. That could have a devastating impact on our national debt for even generations to come. ... The president could also turn back some of the 132 regulations put in place in the last two years, many of which will cost our economy $100 million or more. And the president should repeal Obamacare and support free-market solutions, like medical malpractice reform and allowing all Americans to buy any health care policy they like anywhere in the United States.
President Barack Obama spent several minutes of his State of the Union address discussing health care and the new law. Here are those excerpts: (View the Republican response here.)
To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I've ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them. (APPLAUSE) But I will not hesitate to create or enforce commonsense safeguards to protect the American people. (APPLAUSE) That's what we've done in this country for more than a century. It's why our food is safe to eat, our water is safe to drink, and our air is safe to breathe. It's why we have speed limits and child labor laws. It's why last year we put in place consumer protections against hidden fees and penalties by credit card companies and new rules to prevent another financial crisis. And it's why we passed reform that finally prevents the health insurance industry from exploiting patients. (APPLAUSE) Now, I have heard rumors that a few of you still have concerns about our new health care law. (LAUGHTER) So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you. We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses. (APPLAUSE) What I'm not willing to do -- what I'm not willing to do is go back to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a pre-existing condition. (APPLAUSE) I'm not willing to tell James Howard, a brain cancer patient from Texas, that his treatment might not be covered. I'm not willing to tell Jim Houser, a small-business man from Oregon, he has to go back to paying $5,000 more to cover his employees. As we speak, this law is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their patients' -- parents' coverage. (APPLAUSE) So I say to this chamber tonight, instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let's fix what needs fixing and let's move forward. (APPLAUSE) Now, the final, critical step in winning the future is to make sure we aren't buried under a mountain of debt. We are living with a legacy of deficit-spending that began almost a decade ago. And in the wake of the financial crisis, some of that was necessary to keep credit flowing, save jobs, and put money in people's pockets. But now that the worst of the recession is over, we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in. That is not sustainable. Every day, families sacrifice to live within their means. They deserve a government that does the same. (APPLAUSE) So tonight, I am proposing that, starting this year, we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years. Now, this would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade and will bring discretionary spending to the lowest share of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was president. ... I recognize that some in this chamber have already proposed deeper cuts, and I'm willing to eliminate whatever we can honestly afford to do without. But let's make sure that we're not doing it on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens. ... (APPLAUSE) The bipartisan fiscal commission I created last year made this crystal clear. I don't agree with all their proposals, but they made important progress. And their conclusion is that the only way to tackle our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it, in domestic spending, defense spending, health care spending, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes. (APPLAUSE) This means further reducing health care costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which are the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit. The health insurance law we passed last year will slow these rising costs, which is part of the reason that nonpartisan economists have said that repealing the health care law would add a quarter of a trillion dollars to our deficit. Still, I'm willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits. (APPLAUSE)
As the House of Representatives got closer to voting on the health law repeal, members took to the floor to denounce the arguments from the other side. We have excerpts from Reps. Mike Pence, R-Ind., George Miller, D-Calif., Steve Scalise, R-La., Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
-- Video: 22 Freshmen Republicans In Under 4 Minutes
Contentious Health Law Repeal Debate Begins
-- Text: Health Law Repeal Bill And House 'Resolution' On Replacing The Law
Freshmen Voices: The large class of Republican freshmen swept into office in the November elections had their voices heard in the repeal debate. Republican leadership put a special emphasis on these new members of Congress. Here are excerpts of what some of the freshmen had to say about the law that so many passionately campaigned against.
-- Video: Partisan Arguments Resonate In Health Law Repeal Debate
The House of Representatives began 7 hours of debate in advance of tomorrow’s vote on the Republican bill. Here are video excerpts, courtesy C-SPAN, from Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Freshman Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif.
-- Video: Partisan Arguments Resonate In Health Law Repeal Debate
-- Text: Health Law Repeal Bill And House 'Resolution' On Replacing The Law
On CBS’ "60 Minutes" President Barack Obama acknowledged that taking on "something as big as health care" probably "wasn't great politics." Senator-elect Rand Paul, R-Ky., a favorite of the tea party, told ABC's "This Week" why he believes the law should be repealed.
In the wake of the GOP victories on election night, President Barack Obama held a news conference to talk about the "shellacking" he and his party took. He was asked about the impact of the health law on the vote. Here is an excerpt of that part of the event.
Read the transcript
As emotions run high over the new health law, older voters’ concerns about Medicare cuts could be a deciding factor in Florida’s 2nd Congressional District. Reporter Marilyn Werber Serafini travelled to north Florida to talk with seniors and discovered some angry voters, including one woman who changed political parties because she doesn’t like the Democrats’ health law.
-- Main Story:
Some Hill Races Could Hinge On Seniors' Anger Over Medicare
-- Republican’s Controversial Proposal To Mend Medicare
At a White House ceremony this morning, President Barack Obama signed into law the Senate version of health insurance reform. The White House released video of the event, which includes remarks by the president and Vice President Joe Biden.
Read the full transcript.
Topics: Health Reform
Watch President Obama's speech he made late Sunday night, after the House passed health reform legislation.
This video highlights President Obama's remarks during a health care reform rally held Friday, at George Mason University.
Related: Transcript: President Obama's Health Reform Rally Remarks
As part of his campaign to push Congress to pass a health reform bill, President Barack Obama spoke before a crowd in a St. Charles, Missouri high school auditorium on March 10, 2010. Here are some excerpts of the speech, in which the president called for an end to the politicization of the issue.
This video highlights President Obama's new proposal for health reform, which includes changes to what he calls the "worst practices" of insurance companies and efforts to control rising health care costs. During his remarks, he urged Congress to pass the bill quickly.
Related: Obama Presses Forward In Health Overhaul Efforts
Towards the end of the health summit, Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., urged the Democrats to start over on health reform. In wrapping up, President Barack Obama rejected that notion, saying "we cannot have another year-long debate about this."
Related Content: Health Summit Marked By Partisan Rancor
Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., and President Obama discuss elements of health care reform during the White House Health Care Summit.
Video: Excerpts of Opening Remarks | Opening Remarks Spell Out Partisan Divide At Summit
Highlights from President Obama's opening remarks at the White House Health Care Summit.
Related Content: Opening Remarks Spell Out Partisan Divide At Summit
President Barack Obama gave his first State of the Union address on Wednesday, reiterating the country's need for health care reform and stating Congress "should not walk away" from the issue.
Obama On Health Care: What A Difference A Year Makes (1/27, KHN)
Obama Appeals For Health Reform Despite Recent Setbacks (1/28, Daily Report)
© 2014 Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.