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Obama: Spending Cut Could Hurt Older Americans

President Obama delivers his weekly address, 12 Jun 2010
President Obama delivers his weekly address, 12 Jun 2010

U.S. President Barack Obama warns some doctors could stop treating older Americans if lawmakers fail to act.

In his weekly address Saturday, Mr. Obama urged Congress to delay a 21 percent reduction in payments to doctors who treat older Americans through the government's Medicare program.

He said reducing costs is important but that lawmakers should not act in a way that jeopardizes the health care of elderly citizens.

The Medicare pay cut will take effect next week unless Congress moves to postpone it. Mr. Obama, a Democrat, criticized Republican lawmakers who have been threatening to block the vote.

The president said he is committed to reforming the Medicare system and that his administration is already taking steps to lower government costs by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse.

Meanwhile, the top Republican in the House of Representatives criticized President Obama Saturday for refusing to make tough choices on budget cuts.

Representative John Boehner, during the Republican weekly address, also said Mr. Obama's health care reforms are hurting the country's economic recovery.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.