Treasury Secretary Considering Changes to Medicare, Medicaid
Treasury Department Secretary Henry Paulson on Tuesday in his first address said that restructuring federal entitlement programs -- such as Medicare and Medicaid -- would be his priority for the remaining 29 months that President Bush is in office, McClatchy/San Diego Union-Tribune reports. During the speech at Columbia University, Paulson said that once baby boomers begin retiring in 2008, federal reserves for health benefits will be increasingly strained.
According to Paulson, without changes to the system, lawmakers will have to sharply increase taxes or make spending cuts.
Paulson said, "The biggest economic issue facing our country is the growth in spending on the major entitlement programs." He added, "The entitlement challenge is difficult, but it is fixable. And given our expanding economy we can approach the issue from a position of strength" (Hall, McClatchy/San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/2).