Biden Blasts GOP Proposal to “Sunset” Medicare and Social Security
In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Joe Biden blasted Republicans for proposing to “sunset” Medicare and Social Security every five years and called on Americans to join him in standing up for seniors. His remarks were a direct reference to a proposal by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), which proposed requiring votes every five years to reauthorize Medicare and Social Security.
Scott’s plan, entitled “Rescue America,” was published in early 2022 and included a provision that all federal legislation would expire in five years unless reapproved. Under this plan, popular programs such as Social Security and Medicare would be subject to renewal every five years, a move which Democrats have used to attack Republicans ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
In response to Biden’s State of the Union address, Scott doubled down on his proposal, tweeting that “Cuts to Medicare and Social Security, they're off the table.” However, the senator’s claim was contradicted by a 2022 survey from Data for Progress, which revealed that 84% of Republicans and 86% of Democrats want Social Security benefits to increase, not decrease.
The president has continued to press the issue in speeches this week, with Biden using part of his speech in Tampa on Thursday to criticize Scott’s proposal. “Social Security and Medicare are a lifeline for millions of seniors,” Biden said. “Americans have been paying into them with every single paycheck since they started working. So tonight, let's all agree to stand up for seniors.”
Biden’s comments come as the Medicare Board of Trustees has estimated that the Medicare Trust Fund will become insolvent by 2028. Therefore, the next president will likely inherit a ticking time bomb in the program’s finances, making it all the more important for Americans to stand up for Social Security and Medicare.
0. “Biden's potential lifeline for Florida Democrats – POLITICO” POLITICO, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/02/09/bidens-potential-lifeline-for-florida-democrats-00081954
1. “Biden promises to defend social programmes in Florida speech” Al Jazeera English, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/2/9/biden-promises-to-defend-social-programmes-in-florida-speech
2. “Republicans Have Long Called for the Social Security and Medicare Cuts They Are Now Outraged By” Vanity Fair, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/02/republicans-social-security-medicare-cuts
3. “Biden Promises To Let Social Security's Ship Keep Sinking” Reason, 8 Feb. 2023, https://reason.com/2023/02/07/biden-promises-to-let-social-securitys-ship-keep-sinking/
4. “Democrats would love to make 2024 an election about Medicare and Social Security” Axios, 10 Feb. 2023, https://www.axios.com/2023/02/10/democrats-biden-medicare-social-security-health-care