Political Scene

WHITE HOUSE

Basketball stars play with Obama

A star-studded team of professional basketball players joined President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan in a game for U.S. troops and young people Sunday.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Duncan shot hoops with the basketball stars, who included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and hall-of-famers Bill Russell and Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Kobe Bryant attended, but did not play.

Mr. Obama’s birthday celebrity game also included retired NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning, Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers, Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups of the Denver Nuggets and Maya Moore of the Connecticut Huskies, among others.

The stellar team on the court at Fort McNair military base gym in Washington entertained wounded soldiers and participants of a White House mentoring program aimed at motivating teenagers to aspire to great achievements.

MEDICARE

Obama touts new health law’s benefits

President Obama says Medicare will exist for many more years, thanks to new legislation that helped put the health care program for America’s seniors on stronger financial footing.

Seniors already are benefiting from that new health care law, said Mr. Obama, noting that many have received $250 rebates to help buy medicine, for example.

Mr. Obama said the law and efforts by his administration to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse both in Medicare and across government generally are making the program stronger and cutting health care costs for seniors.

Medicare isn’t just a program,” Mr. Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet message. “It’s a commitment to America’s seniors - that after working your whole life, you’ve earned the security of quality health care you can afford.”

“As long as I am president, that’s a commitment this country is going to keep,” he said.

An annual report this week from the trustees who oversee Medicare, including the Treasury and health and human services secretaries, said the program will stay afloat for a dozen years longer than previously projected, due to the sweeping health care overhaul Mr. Obama signed in March.

But the added solvency also depends on cuts that ultimately may not be carried out.

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