Group Outlines Substantial Medicare Cuts

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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.