Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

White House Briefing: Lew Defends Obama's Criticisms of Ryan's Budget Proposal White House Briefing: Lew Defends Obama's Criticisms of Ryan's Budget ...

This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

White House / White House

White House Briefing: Lew Defends Obama's Criticisms of Ryan's Budget Proposal

Pushing back the day after the big speech

Lew: Key figure in talks.(Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

photo of Rebecca Kaplan
April 14, 2011

In his deficit-reduction speech on Wednesday, President Obama told the country in no uncertain terms – aside from choosing not to use his opponent’s name – that the Republican budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would cause 50 million Americans to lose their health insurance, including elderly patients in nursing care and disabled children.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Thursday, Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew said that those assertions were based on assumptions about where states might cut their budgets rather than actual line items in Ryan’s plan. Obama’s statements were based on the reality that long-term care is one of the largest cost-drivers in the system, he said.

“I think it is a very reasonable projection that the kinds of choices created by the block-granting and the reduced funding would make it impossible to have the mix that we have today,” Lew said of the assumptions. “The only thing that could be reduced in order to keep the growth under control would be that kind of long-term care and the care for disabled. It would be very hard to get the savings any other way.”

 

Lew also said that the president’s proposal wouldn’t create risk for recipients because it would achieve cost savings by reducing improper payments. “I don’t want to sugarcoat it. It is tough,” he said. “It’s going to put pressure on the system, but it won’t do it in a way that pushes risk to the beneficiary.” He was eager to move on to discuss efforts under the Affordable Care Act to lower long-term health care costs.

Lew also offered few details beyond the president's deficit-reduction speech, except to say that the plan would not raise taxes for those making less than $200,000 as an individual or $250,000 as a family.

Press Secretary Jay Carney was similarly light on details, especially when asked about potential changes to the tax code. “Its filled with a lot of complexities, a lot of loopholes, a lot of things that I think makes the average American tear his or her hair out when they’re trying to do their taxes,” he said. “The goal of tax reform is to make the tax code more simple and more fair.”

He added that the president believes everything should be on the table in negotiations.

But both Carney and Lew - who calls himself an “optimist” and a “realist” - have a sunny outlook about progress on a deal. “Once leaders take on the burden of defining a problem, they then take on the burden of defining a solution,” Lew said.

 

More White House
Job Board
Search Jobs
Digital and Content Manager, E4C
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
PRODUCT REVIEW ENGINEER
American Society of Civil Engineers | CA
Neighborhood Traffic Safety Services Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Bellevue, WA
United Technologies Research Fellow
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
Process Engineering Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Conshohocken, PA
Electrical Engineer Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Findlay, OH
Application Engineer/Developer INTERN - Complex Fluids
American Society of Civil Engineers | Brisbane, CA
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Detroit
American Society of Civil Engineers | Livonia, MI
Chief Geoscientist
American Society of Civil Engineers
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Boston
American Society of Civil Engineers | Burlington, MA
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Civil Enginering Intern - Water/Wastewater/Site-Development
American Society of Civil Engineers | Sacramento, CA
Staff Accountant
American Society of Civil Engineers | Englewood, CO
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus