Obama Interview with the Washington Post

July 24 - Read Fred Hiatt's excellent interview with President Obama on health care reform and the need to deal with the fiscal crisis.

Important points: 

  • President Obama will not accept health care reform that does not slow the growth of health care costs (Doing so would be a terrible step in the wrong direction and would make dealing with the country's fiscal challenges much more difficult)
  • He is open to certain measures to cap the employer-provided health care exclusion (He should stop the back and forth on this policy and go further than the gradual cap he mentions - this is a very good health care, budget, and tax policy and should be part of reform)
  • He pushes the MedPAC proposal (CRFB supports this)
  • He indicates Social Security reform is likely to follow health care reform (They should get started on this now)
  • He indicates he supports using a commission to come up with recommendations to deal with the structural deficit
  • He warns of the risks that demand for Treasuries will be reduced if we don't develop a fiscal plan (As CRFB has called for)
  • Interesting that the President chose to give this important interview with Fred Hiatt, who is quite forceful on the issue of fiscal responsibility at the Washington Post. That is a good sign.