Obama proposes $17 billion in budget cuts, programs for the elderly and poor threatened

Share this content:
Peter Orszag
Peter Orszag
President Obama on Thursday proposed cuts of $17 billion from his new budget for both discretionary spending and entitlement programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. Various interest groups are expected to spar over which of 121 federal programs being eliminated or significantly curtailed should be spared.

Long-term care operators might worry most, however, about White House Budget Director Peter Orszag's comment that more budget-cutting efforts are needed,  "especially curbing the growth of the Medicare and Medicaid health care programs for the elderly and the poor."

According to Obama's budget proposal, some targeted programs would yield savings of less than $1 million, while other programs would net hundreds of millions in saved resources, according to the Obama administration. Officials indicated more proposed cuts could be on the way.

That still might not satisfy some critics who allege proposed gross overspending by the Obama administration. At the White House press briefing Thursday morning, laughter erupted when one reporter loudly pointed out that the proposed savings constitute less than one half of 1% of the overall budget proposal. Others have noted that many of Obama's proposed cuts have been recommended many times before, only to be ignored by Congress.