President Barack Obama rejected a Republican proposal to change Medicare to a voucher program and Medicaid into bloc grants to the states, report the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
"These are the kind of cuts that tells us we can't afford the America that I believe in," Obama said Wednesday in a speech at George Washington University. "I believe it paints a vision of our future that's deeply pessimistic." Obama added that the plan proposed by Republicans and spearheaded by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) contained "nothing serious."
Instead, Obama proposed capping annual Medicare and Medicaid growth rates at just above the overall economic growth rate, which is typically two to three percent per year when it is not in recession. It was part of a proposal intended to cut spending by $4 trillion over the next 12 years. However, Obama also hinted that there would be additional federal investments in medical research.
Additionally, Obama proposed automatic tax and spending cut provisions if the deficit is not on a path to shrink from its current 10 percent of gross domestic product down to 3 percent.
Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the recent budget deal reduces the budgeting authority for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education departments by $1.259 billion, although no specifics were immediately available.
Read the CBO report