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Obama's Deficit Plan Returns Focus to Medicare

President to talk about budget in Wednesday's speech

As Congress continues to iron out how to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, the White House returns to the other budget conundrum — how to reduce the federal deficit.

In a shift of course, White House officials indicate more cuts may be considered to entitlement programs for seniors and the poor, including Medicare. The White House had previously rejected proposals from his commission to seriously take aim at Medicare and Social Security to reduce the shortfall.

"You're going to have to look at Medicare and Medicaid and see what kind of savings you can get," Obama adviser David Plouffe said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press.

So far more cuts to Social Security are not on the table, officials say.

On CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, Plouffe said put "all the burden on seniors."

President Barack Obama will attempt to set the tone for the 2012 budget in a speech Wednesday.

"We can't take a machete," Plouffe said on ABC's This Week. "We have to take a scalpel, and we're going to have to cut. We're going to have to look carefully."

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