UPDATE 1-Obama to announce plan to reduce long-term deficit

(Adds details, quotes, White House confirmation)

WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
will lay out his approach for long-term U.S. deficit reduction
later this week, his senior adviser David Plouffe said on
Sunday.

Obama will look at the Medicare and Medicaid government
healthcare programs for the elderly and the poor to “see what
kind of savings” are possible, Plouffe told NBC’s “Meet the
Press” program, without giving details.

Plouffe also indicated Obama was open to a discussion on
the Social Security retirement program, although he said it was
not a big driver of costs for now.

“In the process of sitting down and talking about our
spending and our programs, if there can be a discussion about
how to strengthen Social Security in the future: he (Obama) is
eager to have that discussion,” Plouffe said.

A White House official said Obama’s speech would be on
Wednesday.

Obama and congressional leaders reached agreement last week
on a short-term spending bill for the current fiscal year that
averted a government shutdown. But it also paved the way for
more and bigger deficit-reduction fights to come.

The U.S. government could hit the current $14.3 trillion
limit on its borrowing authority by mid-May and will need
Congress to approve another increase in that debt ceiling.

Congress must also approve a budget for the next fiscal
year starting in October, a fight likely to last well into the
2012 campaign season as Obama seeks a second term.

The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin, told CNN on
Sunday that he expected a broad approach from Obama in
discussing the long-term deficit challenge: “I think the
president will try to approach this in a comprehensive way,” he
said.
(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Eric Walsh)

UPDATE 1-Obama to announce plan to reduce long-term deficit