The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 6, 2013

House approves bill preventing shutdown March 27

(Continued)

Obama has proposed cuts totaling $400 billion or more to Medicare and other health care benefit programs but has refused to accept the type of change that Republicans seek.

In his State of the Union address last month, the president said he wants to reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies, impose higher costs on wealthier seniors and make payments to providers based on "the quality of care seniors receive" rather than the number of tests.

"I am open to additional reforms from both parties, so long as they don't violate the guarantee of a secure retirement," he said.

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