In response to new reporting on MAGA Republicans’ plan for Donald Trump to end Medicare as we know it, DNC Rapid Response Director Alex Floyd released the following statement:
“Donald Trump has been pushing to gut Medicare for years, and now MAGA Republicans are giving him a detailed playbook to end Medicare as we know it if he gets back in office. Trump already proposed hundreds of billions in cuts to Medicare and Social Security in every budget during his first term so it’s no surprise that he is still running on the same overwhelmingly unpopular and out-of-touch agenda to put a lifeline for older Americans on the chopping block. Voters should take Trump at his word: If he and his fellow MAGA Republicans win, then America’s seniors lose.”
NEW: MAGA Republicans have a plan for Donald Trump to “greatly accelerate” efforts to privatize Medicare and end the program as we know it.
Rolling Stone: “Republicans Are Planning to Totally Privatize Medicare — And Fast”
“Conservative operatives have already sketched out what the GOP’s policy agenda would look like in the early days of a new Donald Trump presidency. … One item buried in the 887-page blueprint has attracted little attention thus far, but would have a monumental impact on the health of America’s seniors and the future of one of America’s most popular social programs: a call to ‘make Medicare Advantage the default enrollment option’ for people who are newly eligible for Medicare.
“Such a policy would hasten the end of the traditional Medicare program, as well as its foundational premise: that seniors can go to any doctor or provider they choose. The change would be a boon for private health insurers — which generate massive profits and growing portions of their revenues from Medicare Advantage plans — and further consolidate corporate control over the United States health care system.
“It would not likely benefit seniors, since the private plans limit the doctors they can see and often wrongfully deny patients’ care. Because the plans are costly, experts say the GOP proposal could threaten the Medicare program’s solvency.”
“The trend toward privatization is already happening — a slim majority of Medicare beneficiaries is now enrolled in private Medicare Advantage plans. Trump helped advance this trend as president.
“As The New York Times reported in 2018, during Medicare’s open enrollment period, the Trump administration emailed messages to millions of beneficiaries touting the private plans.”
“Under traditional Medicare, enrollees are free to visit any doctor who accepts Medicare (nearly all physicians do). Medicare Advantage plans, by contrast, often have limited networks of doctors that patients can choose from, and many providers have stopped accepting the private plans because they so often deny the prior authorization requests they require before patients can receive services.”
“But the financial incentive to deny care is baked into the Medicare Advantage model: The private plans are given a fixed amount of money every month to provide coverage for each enrollee; paying out fewer dollars means extra profit.”
“The privatized plans have, for years, systematically overbilled the government — mostly by billing the government as if their patients are sicker than they really are. The Biden administration has worked to claw back some of those past overpayments and rein in future outlays. Industry lobbyists and lawyers have aggressively fought these efforts.”
Trump owns his extreme record of proposing cuts to Medicare and Social Security programs in every single one of his budgets.
Washington Post: “His avowed stance, however, is at odds with Trump’s own record as president: Each of his White House budget proposals included cuts to Social Security and Medicare programs.”
Vox: “Trump said he wouldn’t cut Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare. His 2020 budget cuts all 3.”
Trump said he would cut Social Security and Medicare in a second term in office — including threatening the programs’ financial standing by promising to permanently eliminate the taxes that fund both programs.
CNN: “Trump now says he’s open to entitlement cuts, including Medicare”
National Review: “Speaking with CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump was asked whether he would cut entitlements at some point. ‘Will entitlements ever be on your plate?’ asked interviewer Joe Kernen. ‘At some point they will be,’ Trump responded. ‘At the right time, we will take a look at that. You know, that’s the easiest of all things [to cut].’”
Mediaite: “During a Fox News town hall, President Donald Trump promised to cut entitlements like Medicare and Social Security if were to win a second term. … ‘But if you don’t cut something in entitlements, you will never really deal with the debt,’ town hall co-moderator Martha MacCallum interjected, alluding to social safety programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. ‘Oh, we’ll be cutting,’ Trump rushed to confirm.”
Washington Post: “President Trump pledged on Saturday to pursue a permanent cut to the payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare if he wins reelection in November, a hard-to-accomplish political gambit that some experts see as a major headache for the future of the country’s entitlement programs.”
Trump: “If we win … the payroll tax will be rescinded.”
Trump has long made calls to privatize Social Security and even praised congressional Republicans as they pushed plans to end Medicare as we know it.
CNN: “Former President Donald Trump has called his 2024 opponent Ron DeSantis a ‘wheelchair over the cliff kind of guy’ for supporting then-Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2012 plans to partially privatize Medicare but a review of Trump’s comments by CNN’s KFile show that he supported the same plan at the same time… the former president enthusiastically supported the same plan, which would have partially privatized the program and critics argued turned it into a voucher system.”
CNN: “Trump previously backed policies on Social Security for which he’s now attacking DeSantis, calling the program a ‘Ponzi scheme’”
“Former President Donald Trump once backed raising the retirement age to 70 and called for privatizing Social Security which he called a ‘Ponzi scheme’ … Trump himself also once praised Ryan on Medicare, along with the 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, without praising their specific policy proposal, which called for similar changes to Ryan’s plan.”
Nikki Haley is also campaigning on ending Social Security and Medicare as we know them.
CNN: “Haley has called for several changes to the nation’s safety net programs, including increasing the age at which today’s younger workers would become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits and limiting the growth of benefits the wealthy receive.”
Haley: “What they need to be doing is looking at entitlements. Look at Social Security. Look at Medicaid. Look at Medicare. Look at these things, and let’s actually go to the heart of what is causing government to grow, and tackle that.”
Haley: “Any candidate that says they’re not going to touch entitlements, means that they’re basically going to go into office and leave America bankrupt. … We change retirement age to reflect life expectancy.”
Andrew Ross Sorkin: “Are you on board with cutting entitlements in a big and meaningful way?”
Haley: “Anyone that says they’re not going to take on entitlement reform means they’re going to go in and be president and leave the country bankrupt. You can’t do that.”
Associated Press: “Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is proposing changes to entitlement programs for younger generations, opening the door to potential cuts to Social Security and Medicare if elected.”
Washington Post: “Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and U. N. ambassador who is planning to announce her own presidential bid this month, also praised Ryan’s Medicare proposal at the time and said lawmakers should examine Medicare and Social Security spending to address federal debt.”
Semafor: “As governor of South Carolina at the time, Nikki Haley praised the [Paul Ryan] fiscal blueprint for ‘trying to bring common sense to this world of insanity.’”
MAGA Republicans’ plan to gut Social Security and Medicare is extremely unpopular with Americans — including Republicans.
Fox News: “Fox News Poll: 71% choose funding Social Security, Medicare over budget cuts”
Sahil Kapur, NBC News: “Digging deeper into this @FoxNews finding. Support for funding entitlements like Social Security & Medicare over reducing deficits is overwhelming with the GOP base:
Trump voters 59-37%
Rural voters 70-26%
White non-college voters 73%-24%”
CNN: “Nearly 67 million Americans have received monthly Social Security benefits this year, and more than 66 million people are enrolled in Medicare. Polling shows little support for major changes to the programs themselves to help shore up their finances.
“A March CNN/SSRS poll of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, for instance, found that 59% said it was ‘essential’ that the GOP nominee for president ‘pledges to maintain Social Security and Medicare as they are.’”
Associated Press: “Most oppose Social Security, Medicare cuts: AP-NORC poll”
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