President Barack Obama has been saying for months that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney plans to slash Medicare spending, thereby denying senior citizens healthcare, but that Obama himself will save and strengthen it. According to journalist Bob Woodward, however, Obama has admitted in private that he plans to cut the program by $250 billion over 10 years; he just won’t say so in public because that would be “bad politics.”
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Wednesday, Woodward told host Joe Scarborough that Obama “is tuned in to his own ambivalence, and in the reporting on this [Medicare], it’s very clear he realizes we face a problem that is not going to go away, that he’s got to address.”
Indeed we do face a whale of a problem. Medicare has unfunded liabilities topping $100 trillion, and the program is expected to go into the red beginning in 2024. Significant cuts will have to be made. Yet the president, along with practically everyone else in Washington, has been acting as if there is no problem at all and criticizing those, such as Romney, who at least acknowledge the problem exists and offer some sort of proposal to address it.
But behind the scenes, said Woodward, Obama is planning to cut Medicare spending: “There are documents that are floating around that I got and notes of meetings … where last year he was saying, ‘Oh, yeah, we have to cut it $250 billion over ten years.’”
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