Obama's budget to spare Medicaid from deep cuts

President Barack Obama waves as he walks to board the Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 3, 2013, as he travels to Denver and San Francisco. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama waves as he walks to board the Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 3, 2013, as he travels to Denver and San Francisco. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's budget will steer clear of major cuts to Medicaid.

They wouldn't go over too well at a time when his administration is trying to persuade skeptical governors to expand the giant health care program for the poor.

Expanded Medicaid is a cornerstone of Obama's health care overhaul. It's expected to cover about half the nearly 30 million people who are supposed to be gaining health insurance. But 17 states are still trying to decide whether to take the deal.

In the past, Obama has proposed Medicaid spending curbs that the states didn't like. Activists working with the White House say they have been assured by senior officials those cuts are now off the table.

The president's budget will be released next Wednesday.

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