In a new op-ed, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz and Social Security Works president Jon “Bowzer” Bauman call out the impact Rick Scott’s plan to sunset Medicare and Social Security would have on Florida, and reveal Marco Rubio’s long history of supporting cuts to the earned health care and retirement benefits that nearly five million Floridians rely on.
Would you support a plan that “sunsets” Social Security and Medicare within five years? Because that’s exactly what Senator Rick Scott’s GOP agenda is proposing…A “sunset provision” means that funding for Social Security and Medicare would expire automatically — in the case of Scott’s plan, in just five years.
So, what would that mean for you and your family? In Florida alone, nearly 5 million people — almost 25% of the population — rely heavily on Social Security and Medicare to cover the rising cost of rent and pay for routine medical expenses.
But Scott isn’t the only Florida Republican who would like to get rid of Social Security and Medicare. His fellow senator, Marco Rubio, has a lengthy record of fighting to cut the benefits that Florida’s seniors count on.
In 2010, Rubio ran for Senate on a platform of massively cutting Social Security benefits by raising the retirement age and reducing cost-of-living increases.
When Rubio ran for president in 2016, he once again called for raising the retirement age to 70 — a position so extreme that even Donald Trump rejected it! Rubio also enthusiastically supported a plan to privatize Medicare, which would end the program as we know it.
In 2017, just before voting for a massive tax handout to the wealthy, Rubio referred to Social Security and Medicare as “the drivers of our debt” and called for “structural changes” to the programs. That’s Washington-speak for “massive benefit cuts for seniors.” Rubio believes we can afford to give endless tax cuts to his corporate donors, but we can’t afford our own earned benefits that keep over 22 million Americans out of poverty.
Why is Rubio so dead set on gutting Social Security and Medicare, even though that’s incredibly unpopular with voters across Florida? The answer lies in a 2011 speech he gave at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. In the speech, Rubio said that Social Security and Medicare “weakened us as a people” because “it was no longer necessary to worry about saving for security because that was the government’s job.”
Rubio is on the ballot this November. Everyone who cares about the future of Social Security and Medicare should pay close attention to his record — and vote accordingly.