Pressure rising to avoid federal spending cuts that will impact health programs

Pressure is mounting for Washington to find a way to avoid the automatic spending reductions set to begin March 1, with President Barack Obama Tuesday urging Congress to stop the “meat-cleaver approach” that he says will undermine U.S. military strength and “eviscerate job creating investments in education and energy and medical research.”

But while both Democrats and Republicans say they don’t want the billions of dollars in cuts to kick in, there’s no agreement on how to stop them.

The nation’s two major health entitlement programs, Medicare and Medicaid, are protected from the bulk of the cuts which will hit a wide swath of federal discretionary spending. Other government programs, including health-related programs, such as medical research, mental health treatment and approvals for new drugs, face reductions of 5 percent or more, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Source – Kaiser Health News

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