Obama aims at healthcare costs to tackle trillion dollar deficit

By Kyla Cook |Staff Writer|

On the heels of a proposed government shutdown, President Obama gave a speech on April 13 at George Washington University on his view of how the nation’s budget should be laid out.

Obama proposed a $4 trillion deficit reduction over the next 12 years.

The president announced four steps to reduce the nation’s deficit.

The first of these is to lower domestic spending which he says will save $750 billion over the next 12 years.

Exceptions to these cutbacks are medical research, clean energy technology, education, new infrastructure, broadband access and job training, Obama outlined.

“We will do what we need to do to compete, and we will win the future,” said Obama.

Obama’s second step is to lessen defense spending.

The third is to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid while simultaneously saving the nation $500 billion by 2023.

He said he plans to cut spending on prescription drugs and bring generic brands into the market and provide incentives for doctors and hospitals to prevent injuries and improve results.

“I think the nation needs to focus on prevention which is why I think Michelle Obama’s childhood obesity program is a good thing,” said Dr. Patti Smith, director of the CSUSB Student Health and Counseling Center. “What I think works is prevention, which is why I am in college health. We need to teach students how to take care of themselves.”

President Obama’s fourth step calls for no longer giving tax cuts to wealthier Americans and limiting itemized deductions (like charitable giving) for the wealthiest two percent.

These two approaches to lowering spending in the tax-code are supposed to reduce the nation’s deficit by $320 billion over a decade.

Within this speech, Obama hinted at another presidential term by saying, “If, by 2014, our debt is not projected to fall as a share of the economy… then my plan will require us to come together and make up the additional savings with more spending cuts and more spending reductions in the tax code.”

Conservative political commentator John Lott replied to the president’s speech saying, “Obama’s savings included the increased revenue to the treasury by eliminating the Bush tax cuts for ‘every millionaire and billionaire in the country.’ But this leaves out the obvious fact that the (Congressional Budget Office) numbers follow existing law and already assume that taxes will increase in 2013.”

“With all these budget cuts it means lower amount of students which affects our budget in turn because we are 100 percent funded by the student health fee,” said Smith.

CSUSB students should to pay attention to our nation’s budget issues especially within the next year as Obama has recently announced his candidacy for re-election, and it was largely a younger vote that voted him in the first time.



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