Wednesday, November 14 2012, 12:03 PM CST
Group's plan calls for Medicare cuts
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A think-tank with ties to the White House is looking to prevent a raid on health care programs during upcoming budget talks.
It's released a plan Tuesday for some significant savings -- mostly from Medicare.
The blueprint from the Center for American Progress spares Medicaid and the new health care law from most of the cuts.
Instead, the liberal-leaning group targets Medicare service providers, from the pharmaceutical industry to hospitals and nursing homes.
Higher-income Medicare recipients would face increased monthly premiums for outpatient and prescription coverage.
The Center for American Progress serves as an idea factory, of sorts, for the Obama administration -- much as the conservative Heritage Foundation did during Ronald Reagan's presidency.
Rising health care costs are the most stubborn element of the nation's long-term budget woes. At the same time, a recent report for the government estimates that the nation's health care system squanders about 30 cents of every medical dollar -- or a total of $750 billion a year.
The proposal was released as President Barack Obama meets with a dozen business executives at the White House. The president is looking for support for $1.6 trillion in new revenue, to avoid the "fiscal cliff" in January.
A spokesman says Obama is bringing to the table a proposal involving new taxes on business and the wealthy. The targeted revenue is twice the amount Obama discussed with Republican leaders during debt talks last year.
Jay Carney says the figure, combined with $1.1 trillion in spending cuts already signed into law, would reduce deficits by $4 trillion.
Today's meeting with CEOs follows a gathering of labor leaders and liberal groups yesterday. Participants said Obama remained clear that he would push for his campaign pledge of making the wealthiest Americans pay more in taxes.
Failure to act would bring automatic spending cuts and higher taxes on all Americans. According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, middle-income families would pay an average of about $2,000 more next year.
Obama has scheduled a news conference immediately before Tuesday's meeting with business leaders.