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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

House GOP Still Trying to Weaken Social Security, Medicare

If you hoped the Republican House leaders were going to govern like responsible elected officials who care about their constituents’ well-being, you should probably think again.

As Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling reports in “House Republicans Resurrect Plan to Gut Social Security and Medicare: A new budget from House Republicans clearly states they’ll raise the retirement age—if given the chance” at The New Republic:

While progressive politicians and unions are fighting to grant Americans four-day workweeks, Republicans are looking to achieve the complete opposite.

On Wednesday, the Republican Study Committee (made up of more than 170 House Republicans) proposed a 2025 budget with an eyebrow-raising revision of Social Security and Medicare, increasing the retirement age to qualify for Social Security and lowering benefits for the highest-earning beneficiaries.

But don’t worry, Republicans want you to know that this will not take effect immediately, and will only impact everyone who isn’t already of age to acquire their earned benefits.

“Again, the RSC Budget does not cut or delay retirement benefits for any senior in or near retirement,” the caucus underlined.

Under the proposed plan, Medicare would operate as a “premium support model,” competing with private companies, giving subsidies to beneficiaries to pick the private plan of their choice. That stratagem is straight from former House Speaker Paul Ryan’s playbook, who proposed the policy while campaigning as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick in the 2012 election. At the time, President Barack Obama argued that the plan would “end Medicare as we know it.”

Outside of fiscal policy, the proposed budget also endorsed the controversial Life at Conception Act, which would grant rights to embryos and likely gut in vitro fertilization nationwide—despite a Republican press run last month to fake support for the procedure.

The budget is unlikely to pass through Congress, but its drafting still hints at the party’s follow-through on an age-old threat—and offers a glimpse into what kind of future it wants if it wins reelection, and if Donald Trump retakes the White House.

As Houghtaling concludes, “The whole thing is, notably, an odd choice during an election year.” Nothing new to see here — just the Republicans once again trying to trim your retirement benefits, diddle with your health security and meddle with your reproductive freedom.

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