Alex Lawson said last night he was hopeful that all the ruckus raising over Social Security and Medicare would get Obama to back off. Looks like the White House is reading the poll numbers:
President Barack Obama’s new deficit-reduction proposal will leave out changes to Social Security, and may exclude any increase in the Medicare eligibility age, people familiar with the discussions said Wednesday.
President Obama is considering a deficit reduction proposal that leaves out two of the most controversial measures he has put forth before, one affecting Social Security and the other Medicare. Laura Meckler has details on The News Hub.
“As the president has consistently said, he does not believe that Social Security is a driver of our near- and medium-term deficits,” White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said in a statement.
Changing the inflation formula so Social Security benefits grow more slowly and raising the Medicare eligibility age were ideas Mr. Obama had been willing to accept this summer, when he was trying to strike a deficit-reduction deal with House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio).
That deal ultimately collapsed after Mr. Boehner walked away from the talks. Democrats, who believe it is strategically unwise to put forward a compromise position at the outset, have urged that Mr. Obama not include them in the new deficit plan he is set to unveil Monday.
Instead of raising the Medicare eligibility age, the White House is considering recommending cuts to providers and possibly increasing premiums for wealthier recipients, people familiar with the discussions say. It’s also possible the president would propose changing the inflation calculation for other government programs, which currently use the same measure as Social Security does. The White House declined to comment on those discussions.