President Biden Defended Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid This Week As Republicans Continue to Lie About Their Disastrous Record
This week, President Biden delivered his State of the Union Address, where he highlighted Republican attacks on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. President Biden also traveled to Florida to discuss the administration’s work to lower costs and strengthen health care for seniors. During the event, President Biden called out Republicans like Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott for blocking Medicaid expansion in Florida and threatening to put Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare on the chopping block every five years.
While President Biden is committed to protecting and expanding Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, the GOP plan would like to slash these vital programs, raise premiums, reverse recent coverage gains, and hike prescription drug costs for the American people.
Republicans Are On The Run From Their Long History Of Threatening Medicare, Medicaid, And Social Security
Several Republicans have hit back at President Biden — yet Republicans have been on record about destroying these programs for years now. Senator Mike Lee was quick to deny Republican attacks on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, but a video quickly resurfaced of him saying “It will be my objective, to phase out Social Security, to pull it up by the roots and get rid of it…Medicare and Medicaid are of the same sort and need to be pulled out.” Even worse, lawmakers like Senator Ron Johnson have doubled down on his commitment to cut these programs and promoted his policies — even going as far as to call Social Security a “ponzi scheme.”
Recent coverage shows that Republicans have long tried to dismantle Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and that they continue to propose policies that threaten access to quality, affordable health coverage for millions. They cannot rewrite history to try to fool the American people.
The Hill: Scott Doubles Down On Sunsetting All Federal Programs After Biden’s Jab. “Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Wednesday defended his proposal to sunset all federal legislation after five years and slammed President Biden as ‘confused; in response to Biden’s claim at the State of the Union address that some Republicans want to sunset Social Security and Medicare. ‘In my plan, I suggested the following: All federal legislation sunsets in five years. If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again,’ Scott said in a statement following Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress.” [The Hill, 2/8/23]
US Sen. Ron Johnson Stands By Medicare, Social Security Remarks After Being Called Out By President Joe Biden. “In a statement to Fox News, Johnson accused Biden of lying about him. But in an interview with WISN-AM in Milwaukee Thursday morning, Johnson stood by his plan, saying it was time to change the way Medicare and Social Security are funded. ‘We’ve got to put everything on-budget so we’re forced to prioritize spending,’ Johnson said. ‘That doesn’t mean putting on the chopping block. That doesn’t mean cutting Social Security. But it does mean prioritizing.’” [Wisconsin Public Radio, 2/9/23]
Vanity Fair: Republicans Have Long Called to Cut Social Security and Medicare. “Senator Rick Scott, who, as chairman of the GOP’s Senate campaign committee last cycle, unveiled a plan to sunset all federal legislation, which includes Social Security and Medicare, in five years, opening the door for lapses or cuts. Just last summer, Senator Ron Johnson called for subjecting Medicare and Social Security to annual budget negotiations. Lindsey Graham declared entitlement reform a ‘must,’ and the House’s largest Republican caucus, the conservative Republican Study Committee, released a proposal that urged raising the eligibility age for both Medicare and Social Security, called for increased means testing in Medicare, and suggested a move toward privatization for Social Security.” [Vanity Fair, 2/8/23]
Business Insider: Kevin Hern Among House Republicans Who Don’t Want to Take Medicare and Social Security Cuts Out Of Debt Ceiling Negotiations. “They’ve introduced two pieces of legislation — the Trust Act and the Bipartisan Social Security Commission Act — to be included in a debt limit deal, which would create commissions to consider the solvency of Social Security and Medicare. Of the legislation, GOP Rep. Kevin Hern said he ‘wouldn’t think it’d be off the table.’ Hern’s proposals did not specifically address Medicare and Social Security, but Hern told Bloomberg creating a commission to evaluate the solvency of those programs could be a part of the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling.” [Business Insider, 2/6/23]
The Hill: What Have Republicans Actually Said About Social Security and Medicare? “At the center of the current debate over the federal entitlement programs is an 11-point plan released by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) last February, which called for all federal legislation to sunset after five years as part of an effort to curb government spending. Former Vice President Mike Pence, who has indicated that he is considering a bid for the presidency in 2024, said last week that a conversation needs to be had about reforming Social Security. When Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) initially ran for Senate in 2010, he called for the complete elimination of Social Security. Similar to Scott, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has suggested that Congress regularly renew the entitlement programs. However, Johnson has proposed that it be done on an annual basis.” [The Hill, 2/8/23]
Washington Informer: Biden Exposed Republican Plans to Cut Social Security and Medicare. “When Republicans like Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Utah Sen. Mike Lee interrupted President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address to call him a liar, they may have forgotten their own words… Sen. Mike Lee said, ‘One thing that you probably haven’t ever heard from a politician: it will be my objective to phase out Social Security. To pull it up by the roots and get rid of it.’ In November, John Thune, the number two Senate Republican in leadership, declared that Social Security and Medicare benefits should be slashed. Florida Sen. Rick Scott is championing a plan to put Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security on the chopping block every five years, which would put the health and economic security of 63 million Medicare beneficiaries, 69 million Medicaid beneficiaries and 65 million Social Security beneficiaries at risk. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin proposed sunsetting these laws every year. According to Politico, the Republican Study Committee, which includes most House Republicans, released a budget plan that would raise the entry age. The GOP would also raise taxes on some people who retire early or have a certain income, and they would privatize Social Security.” [Washington Informer, 2/9/23]