February 11, 2016
Kasich and Jeb Bush Mean Trouble for Seniors
John Kasich and Jeb Bush mean trouble for seniors and retirees. The New Hampshire primary results are in, and the top four for the Republicans were businessman Donald Trump, Gov. John Kasich (Ohio), Sen. Ted Cruz (TX), and former Governor Jeb Bush (FL). Since this blog looked at Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio after the Iowa caucuses, we look next at what Kasich and Jeb Bush mean for seniors.
For starters, Kasich and Jeb Bush intend to weaken and cut Social Security. Kasich would privatize Social Security for future seniors and undermine Social Security for Baby Boomers who are close to retirement. He proposed a new tax on Social Security for seniors in Ohio.
Addressing a New Hampshire voter who was concerned about cutting Social Security benefits, Kasich said, “Well, you’ll get over it,” and laughed.
Kasich also says that Medicare must be “fundamentally reformed,” not protected and strengthened for current and future generations.
Jeb Bush is no better than Kasich on Social Security. He supported his brother’s notorious plan to privatize it, wants to raise the full Social Security retirement age, and is open to means testing it.
Bush’s plans for Medicare are also worrisome. In fact in July he said that we ought to phase out Medicare.
“We need to make sure we fulfill the commitment to people that have already received the benefits, that are receiving the benefits,” Bush said. “But we need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others and move to a new system that allows them to have something, because they’re not going to have anything.”
As Florida Governor, Jeb Bush proposed reducing the state’s payments for prescription drugs for Medicaid patients. One controversial proposed cut was a $ 107 million reduction in payments for pharmaceuticals for Medicaid patients.
He signed a $22.5 million cut to prescription drug assistance for poor seniors, stopping plans to expand a program then used by 8,100 seniors.
He also proposed $592 million cut to prescription drugs under Medicaid, including a $300 million cut in the Medically Needy initiative that helped 36,000 catastrophically ill Floridians who had exhausted their private insurance. The recipients would have lost their hospitalization but could still get prescription drugs. Bush also supported more restrictions on the use of prescription drugs by Medicaid patients – an additional $292 million cut.
None of these candidates are a good choice for retirees or anyone concerned about the welfare of older Americans.