Research

Senator Barack Vs. President Obama

In 2005, Obama Attacked President Bush For Not Reforming Medicare But He Has Made Dodging The Issue A Staple Of His Presidency

 

IN 2005, FRESHMAN SENATOR OBAMA ATTACKED PRESIDENT BUSH FOR FAILING TO REFORM MEDICARE

 

Watch Then-Sen. Obama Attack President Bush For Not Reforming Medicare

In 2005, Then-Sen. Obama Attacked President Bush for Not Tackling Medicare And Called It “The Real Crisis” That “Is Breaking Down Rapidly.” OBAMA: “The only thing I’d add, and then I’ll turn it over to Dick is to talk, is to mention that despite the President staking his domestic policy agenda in his second term on Social Security reform, the real crisis in terms of funding is not Social Security, it’s Medicare. Which is breaking down rapidly and this most recent legislation exacerbates that fiscal crisis. And that’s something for some reason the president seems entirely unwilling to tackle.” (Senator Barack Obama, Remarks At An Illinois Weekly Policy Update, Washington, D.C., 2/10/05)

WHILE HE HAS BEEN IN THE WHITE HOUSE, OBAMA HAS BROKEN REPEATED PROMISES TO TACKLE THE LOOMING BANKRUPTCY OF MEDICARE

2008: Then-Sen. Obama Says During The Presidential Debates That Entitlement Reform Is Something That He Would Like To Do In His First Term. BROKAW: “Would you give Congress a date certain to reform Social Security and Medicare within two years after you take office? Because in a bipartisan way, everyone agrees, that’s a big ticking time bomb that will eat us up maybe even more than the mortgage crisis.” OBAMA: “Well, Tom, we’re going to have to take on entitlements and I think we’ve got to do it quickly. We’re going to have a lot of work to do, so I can’t guarantee that we’re going to do it in the next two years, but I’d like to do in the my first term as president.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Presidential Debate, Nashville, TN, 10/7/08)

2009: Obama Said We Are Going To Have To Craft A “Grand Bargain” On Entitlements Because We Have “Kicked This Can Down The Road, We’re Now At The End Of The Road, And We Are Not In A Position To Kick It Any Further.” OBAMA: “The real problem with our long-term deficit actually has to do with our entitlement obligations and the fact that historically if our revenues range between 18 and 20 percent of GDP, they’re now at 16, it’s just not sustainable. So, we’re going to have to craft, what George Stephanopoulos called a ‘grand bargain,’ and I try not to use the word ‘grand’ in anything I say, but we’re going to have to shape a bargain. This by the way is where there is going to be some very difficult choices, and issues of sacrifice and responsibility and duty are gonna come in because what we have done is kicked this can down the road, we’re now at the end of the road, and we are not in a position to kick it any further.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks Before The Washington Post Editorial Board, Washington D.C., 1/15/09)

2010: Obama Said “We’ve Got To Refresh And Renew Medicare, To Make Sure That It’s Going To Be There For The Next Generation As Well.” OBAMA: “But in the same way that Social Security has to be tweaked, because the population is getting older, we’ve got to refresh and renew Medicare, to make sure that it’s going to be there for the next generation as well. And the key problems are not just that more people as they retire are going to be part of Medicare.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At A Discussion With Ohio Families On The Economy, Columbus, OH, 8/18/10)

2011: Obama Admitted That The Democrats’ Do-Nothing Plan On Medicare Will Result In Medicare’s Bankruptcy. OBAMA: “What I’ve tried to explain to them is, number one, if you look at the numbers, Medicare in particular will run out of money, and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up. I mean, it’s not an option for us to just sit by and do nothing. And if you’re a progressive who cares about the integrity of Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, and believes that it is part of what makes our country great, that we look after our seniors and look after the most vulnerable, then we have an obligation to make sure that we make those changes that are required to make it sustainable over the long term.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At A Press Conference, Washington, D.C., 7/11/11)

DESPITE ALL THE TALK, OBAMA HAS DODGED PUTTING FORWARD SOLUTIONS

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Admitted The Administration Doesn’t Have “A Definitive Solution” To The Long-Term Problems Posed By Our Entitlement Programs. REP. PAUL RYAN: “Because we got 10,000 people retiring every day, and healthcare costs going up…” TREASURY SECRETARY TIMOTHY GEITHNER: “That’s right. We have millions of Americans retiring every day, and that will drive substantially the rate of growth of healthcare costs. You are right to say we’re not coming before you today to say we have a definitive solution to that long-term problem. What we do know is, we don’t like yours.” (Testimony Before The House Committee On The Budget , U.S. House Of Representatives, 2/16/12)

Obama Doesn’t Have A Plan To Control The Nation’s Entitlement Programs In The Long-Term. “However, he isn’t proposing the structural changes that experts say are needed to control spending in these programs over the long term. For instance, Mr. Obama won’t suggest raising the Medicare eligibility age, as he was willing to do over the summer during bipartisan budget negotiations that failed to produce a deal. He also doesn’t plan to propose changes to Social Security.” (Laura Meckler, “Budget Plan Has Familiar Ring,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/7/12)

  • Obama’s Budget “Serves As A Political Document” Rather Than A Plan. “None of Mr. Obama’s major proposals are expected to become law before November’s elections, given both partisan divides in Congress over priorities as well as election-year politics. Still, the budget proposal serves as a political document in which Mr. Obama will set out his vision for how he would manage government taxes and spending should he win a second term.” (Laura Meckler, “Budget Plan Has Familiar Ring,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/7/12)

“Obama Has Long Resisted The ‘Entitlement Reform’ Movement .” Obama has long resisted the ‘entitlement reform’ movement, which is currently focused on establishing a blue-ribbon commission that would present Congress with a finished proposal — presumably calling for steep cuts in the nation’s bedrock social safety programs — for an up-or-down vote. (Dan Froomkin, “Obama’s Sense Of Entitlements,” The Washington Post , 2/20/09)

  • USA Today Called Obama’s Failure To Tackle Entitlement Programs Is “Irresponsible.” “That’s mostly because Obama failed to take on the entitlement programs, by far the biggest drivers of future spending. Thanks to a weak economy, Baby Boomer retirees and payroll tax cuts, Social Security is already running in the red. Congressional Budget Office projections show it will add a half trillion dollars to the debt over the next decade, making Obama’s refusal to tackle it now irresponsible.” (Editorial, “Editorial: Politics Takes Priority In Obama’s Deficit Plan,” USA Today, 9/19/11)

While Obama Dithers, Judgment Day For Medicare Gets Closer

The Trustees Of Social Security And Medicare Predict That Medicare’s Trust Fund Will Be Exhausted In 2024. “The estimated exhaustion date for the HI trust fund remains at 2024, the same year shown in last year’s report. As in past years, the Trustees have determined that the fund is not adequately financed over the next 10 years.” (“2012 Annual Report Of The Boards Of Trustees Of The Federal Hospital Insurance And Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds,” The Boards Of Trustees, Federal Hospital Insurance And Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds , 4/23/12)

  • If Cuts From ObamaCare Do Not Materialize Than The Trust Fund Is Expected To Be Exhausted Sooner. “Without legislation to correct the financial imbalance, the fund would continue decreasing and use up all its remaining assets in 2024, and would thus become exhausted under the intermediate assumptions. If the reductions in Medicare price updates under the Affordable Care Act do not continue throughout this period, then asset depletion would occur slightly earlier in 2024, based on the illustrative alternative projections.” (“2012 Annual Report Of The Boards Of Trustees Of The Federal Hospital Insurance And Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds,” The Boards Of Trustees, Federal Hospital Insurance And Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds , 4/23/12)

Spending On Medicare Is Expected To Total $7.7 Trillion Through 2022, Growing From $550 Billion In 2012 To $1.1 Trillion In 2022. (“An Update To The Budget And Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012 To 2022,”Congressional Budget Office, 8/22/12)

  • CBO Projects That The Rising Price Of Goods And Services In The Obama Economy Will Boost Medicare Spending By $136 Billion From 2013 To 2022. “CBO’s current projections of productivity are lower than they were in its previous forecast, and its projected prices for goods and services (including the cost of both labor and non-labor inputs) are now higher. Consequently, CBO now anticipates higher payment rates for Medicare than it forecast in March, a change that raises projected outlays by $136 billion (or about 2 percent) over the 2013-2022 period. In the Medicaid program, higher projected prices for medical services and the cost of labor are also expected to boost spending, by $27 billion, between 2013 and 2022.” (“An Update To The Budget And Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012 To 2022,”Congressional Budget Office, 8/22/12)
  • Medicare Spending Will Grow From 3.7 Percent Of GDP To 4.3 Percent Of GDP In 2022. “Outlays for Medicare (excluding receipts from premiums and other sources) will total 3.7 percent of GDP in 2013 but will reach 4.3 percent of GDP in 2022, CBO estimates, as enrollment increases.” (“An Update To The Budget And Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012 To 2022,”Congressional Budget Office, 8/22/12)