President Barack Obama used his second inaugural address to underline his promise to reduce federal healthcare costs without cutting benefits. In an address light on healthcare references, he never mentioned his signature healthcare law, which launches its major provisions next year.
Obama's speech echoed campaign trail comments that while changes are needed to keep Medicare and Medicaid solvent, they should not impact beneficiaries.
“We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of healthcare and the size of our deficit,” he said. “But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.”
In the run-up to another round of discussions on changes to the federal entitlement programs, Obama framed the federal healthcare programs in the sharp terms of a divisive election that turned in part on Republicans' proposed changes to the federal entitlement programs.