Dave Wiegel seems to have forgotten some very recent history about the Republican party’s posture on Medicare (How eight years – and President Trump – have changed the GOP’s tune on Medicare, 10/9/18). Far from “abandoning” their campaign to cut Americans’ earned benefits, GOP leaders have doubled-down on it. The ink was barely dry on the Trump/GOP tax scheme when Speaker Paul Ryan called for ‘entitlement reform’ to pay for it. He was quickly joined by a chorus of fellow partisans, most recently National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Steve Stivers. The party has hardly declared Medicare “sacrosanct,” proposing in its 2019 budget plan to cut the program by $537 billion over ten years. Likewise, President Trump, who promised “not to touch” Social Security or Medicare during the 2016 campaign, issued a budget that includes billions in cuts to both programs and has surrounded himself with advisors (most prominently, budget chief Mick Mulvaney) who are focused on slashing benefits. At a time when Social Security and Medicare should be expanded to meet seniors’ rising health and retirement costs, the President and his party are clearly marching in the wrong direction.
President & CEO,
National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare