Coburn, Lieberman push for Medicare cuts

Will Rahn Senior Editor
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Senators Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut are pressing the deficit-reduction supercommittee to make substantial cuts to Medicare, reports The Hill.

“Federal spending for Medicare and Medicaid has accounted for a sharply rising share of the federal budget over the last decade, making it clear that it will be virtually impossible to balance our country’s finances without bringing the costs of these programs under control,” they wrote Wednesday to the six Republicans and six Democrats on the committee.

Coburn, a Republican, and Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, encouraged members of the committee to review a Medicare proposal they released last June. Their plan would require higher income beneficiaries to pay a greater share of Medicare Part D, which pays for prescription drugs, and Part B, which pays for doctor visits.

“The facts are clear, something must be done to reform Medicare or it will bankrupt the federal government and take America’s finances down with it,” they wrote. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Coburn-Lieberman reforms would save over $500 billion over 10 years.

The supercommittee has until Thanksgiving to come up with a deficit-reduction package worth at least $1.2 trillion, or else trigger automatic, across-the-board spending cuts equal to that amount.

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