February 02, 2016
Warning to New Hampshire Republican Primary Voters: Iowa’s Top 3 Come with Baggage
by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director, Alliance for Retired Americans
The Iowa caucus results on the Republican side are in, and the three presidential contenders with the most delegates are Sen. Ted Cruz, with 27.6% of the caucus votes, Donald Trump (24.3%), and Sen. Marco Rubio (23.1%). Iowa’s results should serve as a call to action for all those who care about retirement security.
None of these candidates are good for retirees:
Sen. Ted Cruz would privatize Social Security using the George W. Bush model, wants to raise the full retirement age for collecting Social Security benefits, and is open to means testing those earned benefits.
Donald Trump has his own plans for seniors. Asked by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos about phasing out Medicare with private savings accounts, said, “I’m OK with the savings accounts. I think it’s a good idea.”
Trump’s statements in support of letting Medicare negotiate drug prices has gained attention but his policies are especially ill-defined. He has also said that he would repeal Obamacare, which provides expanded preventive health care services for the approximately 48 million seniors currently on Medicare and closes the so-called doughnut hole coverage gap in Medicare’s prescription drug benefit. Rubio and Cruz share this position.
Sen. Rubio has said that Social Security “weakened us as a people,” campaigned on its privatization, and – like Cruz – wants to raise the full retirement age for collecting earned benefits. He told our Alliance organizer in New Hampshire that he plans to raise the retirement age for Social Security and privatize Medicare.
In addition, Rubio supported the 2011 Paul Ryan budget plan, which would have increased out-of-pocket costs for the typical Medicare patient by more than $6,000 a year. Rubio has said that he still supports the Ryan plan. [Sun-Sentinel, 5/10/11]
New Hampshire voters should cast their vote carefully and know that the future of Social Security, Medicare and prescription drug benefits are at stake in this election.