Washington — President Barack Obama says his deficit-reduction plan strikes a balance. When it comes to Medicare and Medicaid, it spreads the pain around.
Future Medicare beneficiaries would take a hit. So would drug companies, hospitals and nursing homes. And the federal government would shift some Medicaid costs to the states.
Obama promised Medicare beneficiaries he'd veto any legislation that asks them to sacrifice without also raising taxes on the well-off. But he didn't issue seniors a pass.
His administration is borrowing a strategy from corporate America by proposing to raise a range of health care costs for future retirees, while largely shielding those now on Medicare.
Starting in 2017, that includes higher Medicare premiums for upper-income seniors, as well as additional copayments, deductibles and penalties for new retirees.