Joe Biden

FACT SHEET: Congressional Republicans' Many Proposals to Cut Social Security and Medicare, and Increase Prescription Drug Prices and Health Care Premiums

February 09, 2023

During his Tampa visit, the President will contrast his commitment to protecting and strengthening Medicare and Social Security and lowering prescription drug prices, with Congressional Republicans' plans to cut these programs

President Biden has taken action to strengthen Medicare and protect Social Security – bedrock programs that Americans have paid into and that tens of millions of seniors depend on to support their livelihoods. Congressional Republicans, however, have a different record. For years, Republican Members of Congress have repeatedly tried to cut Medicare and Social Security, move toward privatizing one or both programs, and raise the Social Security retirement age and Medicare eligibility age. And just last week, House Republicans introduced legislation to repeal President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, which would give tens of billions of dollars in subsidies back to Big Pharma, raise seniors' prescription drug prices, and raise taxes on an estimated 14.5 million people – all while increasing the deficit.

In Tampa, Florida today, President Biden will highlight the work his Administration is doing to protect and strengthen Medicare and Social Security, while Republican Members of Congress continue to push plans that would undermine these programs and the economic security of millions of their constituents.

Congressional Republicans' long record of working to cut Medicare, Social Security:

  • Senator 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 Senator 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. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin proposed sunsetting these laws every year.
  • The Republican Study Committee – which includes a majority of House Republicans – released a formal budget that, according to Politico, included "raising the eligibility ages for each program, along with withholding payments for individuals who retire early or had a certain income, and privatized funding for Social Security to lower income taxes."
  • And in 2015, most House Republicans, including Speaker McCarthy, Rep. Scalise, and a host of others in current leadership, voted to raise the retirement age to 70, which would cut Social Security benefits for tens of millions of seniors who paid into the system for years.

Republican Members of Congress have proposed making health care and prescription drugs more expensive:

Last week, Republicans in the House proposed repealing the Inflation Reduction Act, including its health care provisions. And, just yesterday, Republicans on the House Budget Committee floated a proposal to repeal the health care provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act. Here's what that would mean for working families across the country and in Florida:

  • A 62-year-old in Tampa earning $55,000 would see their premium increase by $7,000 per year.
  • 14.5 million Americans nationwide will pay higher health insurance premiums and see a tax increase.
  • Everyone with Medicare will see higher drug prices if Medicare cannot negotiate the price of drugs.
  • Tens of billions of dollars will go right back to Big Pharma, which will increase the deficit.
  • 3.3 million Medicare beneficiaries who use insulin will no longer have the peace of mind of knowing that their insulin is capped at $35.
  • Millions of seniors will no longer be able to get recommended vaccines for free.
  • Drug companies could go back to increasing drug prices faster than inflation with no accountability, which happened for 1,200 prescription drugs last year.

President Biden has called for protecting Medicare and Social Security, and lowering health care costs for working families:

In this week's State of the Union, President Biden vowed to protect Social Security and Medicare and build on the progress we've made in lowering health care costs for millions of seniors and American families.

Through President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act:

  • Seniors are paying no more than $35 per month for an insulin prescription. If this law had been in effect in 2020, over 90,000 Floridians would have saved an average of $476.
  • Seniors are able to get recommended vaccines for free, saving many seniors hundreds of dollars.
  • Seniors' out of pocket prescription drug costs will be capped at $2000 per year – benefitting over a million Medicare beneficiaries and cancer patients paying skyrocketing prices for prescription drugs each year.
  • An estimated 14.5 million Americans are saving on health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act. Over 3.2 million Floridians signed up for coverage this year.
  • Drug companies will have to pay Medicare a rebate if they raise their prices faster than inflation. Today, the Department of Health and Human Services is announcing next steps for implementing this key provision of the President's prescription drug law, which will lower drug costs for millions of Americans.

And President Biden wants to build on this historic progress. In his State of the Union Address, the President has called on Congress to:

  • Commit to taking cuts to Social Security and Medicare off the table.
  • Expand the insulin cap in the Inflation Reduction Act, so all Americans can benefit from insulin being capped at $35 for a month's supply.
  • Make permanent the ACA tax credits that – thanks to President Biden's prescription drug law – are lowering health insurance premiums for an estimated 14.5 million people, and close the Medicaid coverage gap to benefit more than 1 million Floridians.

Joseph R. Biden, FACT SHEET: Congressional Republicans' Many Proposals to Cut Social Security and Medicare, and Increase Prescription Drug Prices and Health Care Premiums Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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