Obama Pledges To Tackle Cost Hikes in Medicare, Social Security
During an interview with editors at the Washington Post on Thursday, President-elect Barack Obama promised to reform Medicare and Social Security, saying that the nation's economic future hinges on reining in costs to the entitlement programs, the Post reports.
Next month, Obama said that he will convene a "fiscal responsibility summit" before he delivers his first budget proposal to Congress.
According to Obama, efforts to improve and sustain the fiscal health of the U.S. will require efforts to reduce health care costs, prevent the insolvency of Medicare and stabilize Social Security. He said, "The big problem is Medicare, which is unsustainable. ... We can't solve Medicare in isolation from the broader problems of the health care system."
In addition, Obama said, "We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else's." He added that efforts to reform Medicare and Social Security will require a "bargain" with U.S. residents (Shear, Washington Post, 1/16).
The majority of U.S. adults believe that Obama will achieve all of his 10 major campaign promises on health care and other issues, according to a recent USA Today/Gallup Poll, USA Today reports (Page/Hall, USA Today, 1/16).
According to the poll, 62% of adults believe that Obama will achieve his promise to expand health insurance to all children during his presidency, and 73% cited that goal as "very important."
Fifty-six percent of adults believe that Obama will reduce health care costs for the average U.S. family by as much as $2,500 annually during his presidency, and 70% cite that goal as "very important," the poll found.
Sixty-one percent of adults believe that Obama will end restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research during his presidency, and 42% cite that goal as "very important," according to the poll (USA Today graphic, 1/16).
The poll, conducted by landline telephones and cell phones between Jan. 9 and Jan. 11, included responses from 1,031 adults and had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points (Page/Hall, USA Today, 1/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.