President Obama's latest plan to reduce federal health costs kept true to his call for "modest" adjustments to Medicare. Obama didn't go for any big reforms--like increasing the Medicare eligibility age to 67--but his proposal does go after a few Democratic sacred cows, namely by asking seniors to pay more for their care.
The plan is full of policy proposals that have been around for months, wringing $248 billion in savings from Medicare and $73 billion in savings from Medicaid and other health programs.
They are also items that every lobby can love to hate. The savings come from hits to pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and beneficiaries -- a combination that will be a tough vote for politicians in either party. Democrats loathe asking seniors to pay more for their care, and cuts to hometown hospitals are hard for any member of Congress to support, regardless of party. Republicans will especially oppose charging pharmaceutical companies more.
What do you think of the president's plan for Medicare? Does it stand a chance of passing, even with the deficit super committee's "fast-track" procedure that can protect it from the usual congressional obstacles? Would President Obama's plan shore-up the Medicare program for future generations?