Obama Says Medicare, Medicaid 'Free Us to Take Risks' in Inaugural Address

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President Barack Obama gave airtime to the need to reform healthcare entitlements in his second inaugural address Monday, but he defended their existence and pushed back on calls to make drastic cuts to the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

"We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of healthcare and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future," President Obama said.

"The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us," he continued. "They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great."

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