KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

In The Wake Of Obama’s Budget, Signs Of Optimism And Discontent

Even as House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., expressed cautious optimism about some aspects of President Barack Obama's budget plan, others, like Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., took a harder line against it. Meanwhile, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will take to Capitol Hill to defend her agency's budget request.  

NPR: Ryan Says He's 'Cautiously Optimistic' On A Bipartisan Budget Deal
Speaking to NPR a day after President Obama unveiled a 2014 budget proposal that includes cuts to Social Security and Medicare, as well as tax increases and new investments in education and infrastructure, Ryan said he was encouraged by the broad outlines from the White House. "This is the first time in this presidency that I have seen a chance at a bipartisan budget agreement, so I am cautiously optimistic about that," Ryan said in the interview scheduled to be aired on Friday's Morning Edition (Neuman, 4/11).

National Journal: Changing Sides On Medicare And Social Security Is A Time-Honored Tactic
Republican Rep. Greg Walden's description of the White House budget as "a shocking attack on seniors" has set off another round of who's on first. It’s been hard to keep track of which party has the political advantage on Medicare and Social Security, and harder still to figure out where the GOP really stands. Walden, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, set out on his own path this week by going after President Obama's past Medicare cuts and a new spending blueprint that would charge wealthy people more for Medicare and reduce cost-of-living increases for future Social Security recipients by using a less-generous formula called "chained CPI" (Lawrence, 4/11).

The Hill: Sebelius Heads To Capitol Hill
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will head to Capitol Hill on Friday to defend her department's budget request — including $1.5 billion for exchanges that Congress is unlikely to provide. Sebelius is slated to testify before the Ways and Means Committee. It's the first time Sebelius has gone before lawmakers since acknowledging that some people will see their premiums rise because of the healthcare law — an admission that could provide fodder for Republican critics (Baker and Viebeck, 4/11).

CQ HealthBeat: GOP Lawmakers Propose Medicare Mixes
House Energy and Commerce Republicans on Thursday proposed seven ideas for modernizing and changing Medicare, several of which have been offered by members of both parties, economists and health care stakeholders. Although the ideas are not meant to constitute a comprehensive Medicare overhaul, the lawmakers said the "measured, short-term steps" could help improve the program (Ethridge, 4/12).

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