Bush budget would trim Medicare, Medicaid

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President Bush
President Bush
President Bush will place Medicare and Medicaid squarely on the chopping block Monday when he presents his 2009 budget.

His budget reportedly will call for freezing payment rates for nursing homes and home care facilities at their current levels at least through 2009. The president has proposed cutting Medicare by up to $91 billion over the next five years and Medicaid by $14 billion. Also included in the budget are severe new regulations that Bush says he hopes will save tens of billions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid costs.

Among other proposed cuts: $25 billion from hospitals serving the poor, $20 billion from hospital construction and equipment purchasing and $23 billion from teaching hospitals over the next five years. Democrats, who control both chambers of Congress, have already suggested that the president's proposed budget will be "dead on arrival" in the House.