Smartypants: Why President Obama Wants A Grand Bargain
A couple of weeks ago at his press conference, President Obama called the sequester cuts that just went into effect – providing an additional $1.2 trillion in savings – “dumb.” The reason he said that is because they don’t tackle the one thing that is driving those upward spikes…health care costs.
While the Affordable Care Act was an historic step toward getting health care costs under control, there is still more that we can do to realize efficiencies, cut waste, and improve Federal health care programs. Most importantly, we can make modest adjustments to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid in a way that does not undermine the fundamental compact they represent to our nation’s seniors, children, people with disabilities, and low-income families. For this reason, the President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction included proposals to save approximately $320 billion in federal health spending over the next decade. As these reforms save money, they also will strengthen these vital programs so that they are robust and healthy to serve Americans for years to come…
Steve Benen: Boehner Still Waiting For Others To Lead.
When it comes to power in Washington, John Boehner isn’t exactly a hapless schlub, at least not on paper. He’s the Speaker of the House, second in the presidential line of succession, and ostensibly the most powerful member of the legislative branch of government. He has a powerful megaphone, a sizable House majority, and the capacity to have an enormous impact on policymaking.
Left unsaid: John Boehner, despite his power and authority, isn’t leading, doesn’t want to lead, has no intention of leading, and doesn’t even know how to lead — which is precisely why he keeps waiting for the White House and Senate to do the real work while Boehner waits patiently (or as evidenced by this op-ed, perhaps not so patiently) on the sidelines.
Let’s make this easy for the Speaker: (1) Name one budget issue on which you and your party are prepared to compromise; (2) Name one concession you and your party are willing to accept in exchange for a related Democratic concession.