Almost incredibly, the White House claimed yesterday that it has a plan to rescue and reform Medicare.
The plan, according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, has long been out there—in the President’s budget, which was rejected 97 to 0 by the Senate in which Democrats have a majority, and in the Affordable Health Care Act, which virtually all polls show a healthy majority of Americans want repealed.
This answer from Carney came in response to a question posed by HUMAN EVENTS, following interviews with several Republican House members who met with the President at the White House on June 1. Despite praise from the GOP House members over the way President Obama listened to them and addressed their concerns, many of the lawmakers told us they were surprised that the President has yet to spell out his own plan for saving and reforming the embattled Medicare program—either at their meeting with him or in any public forum.
So HUMAN EVENTS posed precisely that question to the President’s top spokesman yesterday at the regular White House press briefing: Did the President, in his exchange over Medicare with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.) at the meeting June 1, offer the administration’s own plan to save Medicare, and does, in fact, the administration have such a plan at all?
“He did not offer a plan on Medicare reform in that meeting, no,” replied White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. “I think we’ve made clear what the President’s plan on Medicare reform is. It’s part of his proposal for his 10- to 12-year budget—deficit-reduction plan of $4 trillion. So we have—there are reforms to entitlements, including Medicare, in the Affordable Care Act. There are more reforms that strengthen and improve Medicare in a proposal he’s put forward for his long-term deficit-reduction plan.”
Carney’s definition of just what the President’s plan to save and reform Medicare is brought immediate reactions of disbelief and disappointment from some of the same lawmakers who had praised his tone at the White House session a week ago.
“A solution to protect and preserve Medicare was certainly not found in a budget that was defeated 97 to 0 by the Democrat-led Senate,” freshman Rep. Dan Webster (R.-Fla.) told HUMAN EVENTS shortly after Carney’s briefing. “If the President is serious about a Medicare plan, it will need to be one that protects and preserves the program for seniors and future generations.”