Trump’s threats to Medicare and Social Security will be spotlighted in Wisconsin

Biden Medicare speech

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks about his administration's plans to protect Social Security and Medicare and lower healthcare costs, Feb. 9, 2023, at the University of Tampa in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

By Pat Kreitlow

June 3, 2024

A top Biden surrogate comes to Wausau, Green Bay, and Milwaukee to talk to Wisconsinites about what they could lose under a second Trump term.

Former US Attorney and Alabama Sen. Doug Jones will be in Wausau, Green Bay, and Milwaukee on Wednesday and Thursday, speaking on behalf of President Joe Biden’s campaign and his pledge to preserve Social Security and Medicare.

“Wisconsin is proud to welcome Sen. Doug Jones, a proven champion for families across America,” said Wisconsin Democratic Coordinated Campaign Manager Garren Randolph, “as he travels our state to lay out the clear stakes of this election and share President Biden’s positive vision to move our country forward.”

The “Protect Our Retirement” tour will include roundtable discussions with community leaders as well as a listening session with union members in Green Bay and visits to local Democratic party offices in Marathon and Outagamie Counties.

“The choice in this election could not be more clear,” Randolph said in a statement first shared with UpNorthNews. “President Biden and Vice President Harris are working every day to ensure that Wisconsin families can always count on Social Security and Medicare. Donald Trump wants to tear the rug out from hundreds of thousands of families.”

Jones will emphasize several past remarks from Trump where he entertained cutting Social Security and Medicare, and his budget proposals while in the White House, which actually would have cut Medicare and Social Security—despite his denials and backtracking.

If he wins in November, Trump will likely move to further privatize Medicare, as outlined in Project 2025, a 920-page roadmap to a second Trump term as outlined by the far-right Heritage Foundation. One provision calls for a requirement that would “make Medicare Advantage the default enrollment option” for people who reach Medicare eligibility—which would be a major profit-driver for private insurance companies.

Medicare Advantage is pitched on innumerable celebrity-driven TV commercials as a private alternative to traditional Medicare. But even though Advantage plans are now chosen by a majority of new Medicare recipients, many quickly encounter difficulties including overbilling, complex policy language, onerous requests for pre-approval, and denial of reimbursement to many providers, frequently in rural areas. Pushing more enrollees to these private plans would likely hasten the demise of the traditional Medicare program that allows seniors to go to any doctor or provider they choose.

 

EARLIER: Medical debt for Medicare recipients? That’s what happens when corporate profits get involved.

Trump has flip-flopped or obfuscated his position on Social Security, previously saying he was open to privatizing the guaranteed elderly retirement benefit before running for president.

In March, Trump famously said about Medicare and Social Security, “there is a lot you can do in terms of entitlements, in terms of cutting.” He then mentioned waste and bad management and later claimed that’s all he meant about “cutting.” But every year he was in the White House, Trump submitted budget proposals that would have cut Social Security and Medicare. His 2020 budget proposal would also have cut about $45 billion from Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, a program for disabled children and adults.

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated that about 8.5 million disabled workers would have seen cuts or shifts to “return to work” programs under Trump’s budget, according to USA Today. But Kathleen Romig, senior policy analyst at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank, said the Trump administration overestimated the number of disabled workers who would return to the workforce and underestimate the number of people who would lose benefits by failing to keep up with paperwork from ongoing “disability reviews.”

Jones was on Biden’s original short list of Attorney General candidates and his name comes up as a potential second-term nominee for a future US Supreme Court opening. Jones came to prominence as US Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama—appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1997—where he successfully brought to justice two Ku Klux Klan members for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four Black girls. Jones served in the US Senate after winning a 2017 special election—and was unseated in 2020 by Republican and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville.

Author

  • Pat Kreitlow

    The Founding Editor of UpNorthNews, Pat was a familiar presence on radio and TV stations in western Wisconsin before serving in the state Legislature. After a brief stint living in the Caribbean, Pat and wife returned to Chippewa Falls to be closer to their growing group of grandchildren. He now serves as UNN's chief political correspondent and host of UpNorthNews Radio, airing weekday mornings 6 a.m.-8 a.m on the Civic Media radio network and the UpNorthNews Facebook page.

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