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Automatic cuts could help push past a health hurdle

New York Times, September 11, 2009

President Obama's new call to impose automatic spending cuts if the healthcare overhaul adds "one dime" to federal budget deficits could help push his top domestic priority over one of the biggest hurdles in its path through Congress. But for the first time he asked Congress to mandate that future Congresses and presidents "come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don't materialize." While the White House does not have a specific method in mind, health economists have suggested that one such trigger could be a limit on Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals.