facebook
twitter
search
search

Senator: Medicare reform depends on Obama

March 10, 2013 at 2:24 PM

WASHINGTON, March 10 (UPI) -- A Republican U.S. senator said the table talk at his recent dinner with President Obama focused on healthcare as the crux of the nation's economic issues.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., said Sunday last week's bipartisan White House gathering was productive in setting priorities for the thorny job of crafting economic policy, and healthcare in general and Medicare in particular were a top priority.

"Basically Americans pay in a dollar, but they get more than $3 in benefits," Johnson said on ABC's "This Week." The president "said people generally don't understand that. They think that money is theirs."

Johnson said he told Obama that as president, he was "in a unique position to be able to make sure the American people understand that."

"We're not going to be able to solve these very difficult problems unless we start laying the groundwork, and prepare the American people for some of the solutions," Johnson added.

Rep. Debbie Wassermann Schultz, D-Fla., chair of the Democratic National Committee, added it could be a tall order for Obama to begin forging relationships with congressional Republicans when he visits the Capitol this week given the tense partisan atmosphere on the Hill. "It is really hard to make tough decisions, and reach consensus when there is such a trust gap," she said.

Schultz contended the Republicans needed to put a little more give into the give-and-take required to get anything done in Congress these days, particularly in terms of spending cuts. She said while the GOP may hold a majority in the House, it was not enough of an advantage that they could dismiss the Democrats altogether.

"The Republicans have been able to get absolutely nothing done with their majority," said Schultz. "They've needed our members to actually sit down, be willing to make political sacrifice, actually spend some political capital."

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Texas man killed in apparent alligator attack
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot
North Korean biochemical weapons researcher defects to Europe
Four accused in slave-labor trafficking ring on Ohio egg farm