- Some prominent Republican figures have suggested reforms to Social Security and Medicare, including increasing the qualifying age, sunsetting federal legislation every five years, and renewing entitlement programs annually.
- Democrats have accused Republicans of wanting to cut these entitlement programs, but Republicans have denied such claims.
- The proposals put forth by Republicans have drawn criticism from some Democrats who view them as a potential threat to the future of these programs.
President Bidens Allegations
President Biden alleged that Republican lawmakers aim to reduce Social Security and Medicare during his State of the Union address. Although some Republican officials have denied these claims, several prominent figures have suggested changes or cuts to these entitlement programs. Here’s a look at what they’ve said:
Senator Rick Scott of Florida released an 11-point plan in February 2021 that proposed sunsetting all federal legislation after five years to reduce government spending. The plan also called for a yearly report from Congress on what they plan to do when Social Security and Medicare go bankrupt. Although Democrats have accused Scott’s proposal of cutting Social Security and Medicare, Scott has maintained that his plan would not do so.
Mike Pence, the former Vice President, has called for a discussion on reforming Social Security. Specifically, he suggested that young Americans be given the option to place a portion of their Social Security withholdings into a government-managed private savings account. The aim is to potentially generate more income than what the current Social Security accounts offer.
In 2010, Senator Mike Lee of Utah called for completely eliminating Social Security. However, he appears to have since tempered his views on entitlement programs and suggested allowing people to identify some portion of their Social Security payments to go into a private account after making the program solvent.
Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has suggested that Congress renew entitlement programs annually to consider them each year. Johnson said he wants to save and fix Social Security and Medicare.
Republican Study Committee
The Republican Study Committee, which includes more than 150 Republican members of the House, has proposed increasing the Medicare and Social Security threshold to 67 and 70 years of age, respectively, to avoid the programs’ trust funds from becoming insolvent in its fiscal 2023 budget.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has suggested adjusting the qualifying age for Social Security and Medicare upward and finding a bipartisan way forward through compromise.
While some Republicans deny wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare, several prominent figures have proposed changes to these programs, including increasing the qualifying age, renewing them annually, and allowing people to identify some portion of their payments to go into private accounts. These proposals have drawn scrutiny and criticism from some Democrats who view them as a potential threat to the future of these entitlement programs.