The Obama deficit reduction (don’t laugh) includes $320 Billion in cuts to government health care programs, with and additional $250 Billion from Medicare, from which he has already cut $500 Billion in the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).
But these reductions are less severe, and less worrisome, than some of the proposals Obama indicated he was willing to support over the summer, while he was negotiating with House Speaker John Boehner. In particular, Obama did not call for increasing the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, as folks like me feared he would.
In fact, the cuts Obama has in mind are more or less consistent with the kind of cuts that you find in the Affordable Care Act: They are reductions designed to change the way Medicare pays for treatment and services, ideally (although not always) in ways that will actually improve the efficiency or quality of care. To the extent they would force individual seniors to pay more, it’d be in the form of higher premiums from wealthy seniors or higher co-pays for treatments likely to be unnecessary or wasteful.
And how would cuts be designed to pay for treatment and services? By denial of service is the answer. Improve “efficiency” and “quality of care?” $750 Billion later? Impossible.