By Elise Viebeck - 01/28/13 08:58 PM EST
Whitehouse oriented his remarks within the ongoing debate over how to reduce the deficit. Republicans have proposed benefit cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, arguing that the programs are unsustainable in the long-term.
He added that the Obama administration must seek action beyond the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that modify healthcare delivery.
The United States needs "a number and a date" in order to achieve real savings, in part because it would provide a way to "evaluate the progress of the Affordable Care Act," he said.