WASHINGTON (AP) - A think-tank with ties to the White House is looking to prevent a raid on health care programs during upcoming budget talks.
It's released a plan today for some significant savings -- mostly from Medicare.
The blueprint from the Center for American Progress spares Medicaid and the new health care law from most of the cuts.
Instead, the liberal-leaning group targets Medicare service providers, from the pharmaceutical industry to hospitals and nursing homes.
Higher-income Medicare recipients would face increased monthly premiums for outpatient and prescription coverage.
The Center for American Progress serves as an idea factory, of sorts, for the Obama administration -- much as the conservative Heritage Foundation did during Ronald Reagan's presidency.
Rising health care costs are the most stubborn element of the nation's long-term budget woes. At the same time, a recent report for the government estimates that the nation's health care system squanders about 30 cents of every medical dollar -- or a total of $750 billion a year.