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Congressional Republicans Propose to Raise Retirement Age for Social Security, Raise Medicare Costs

Andy O’Brien
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As NBC News reports, a new budget proposal by the Republican Study Committee — a group of more than 170 GOP lawmakers, including Republican House leadership — is proposing to raise the Social Security retirement age from 67 to 69.

In addition to cutting $1.5 trillion from Social Security, the proposal would also raise Medicare costs by taking away the program’s authority to negotiate prescription drug costs, remove the $35 cap on the cost of insulin that took effect in January and eliminate the $2000 out-of-pocket cap for Medicare Part D enrollees. At the same time, the proposal recommends $5.5 trillion in tax cuts skewed to the wealthy and corporations.

Workers have paid into these program their entire lives with the promise that they would be there when they retired. It is unconscionable to support a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans while cutting benefits that working people depend on. As we’ve said before, the Maine AFL-CIO has pledged to fight any proposals in Congress to cut Social Security. Instead it, we should raise or consider scrapping the cap on annual earnings subject to Social Security taxes. Currently, people who earn more than $168,600/year don’t pay a penny in taxes beyond that amount.

An AARP poll found that 85 percent of Americans age 50+ oppose cutting Social Security and Medicare. A separate poll found that 83 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of independents, and 73 percent of Republicans want to strengthen Social Security and pay for it by making the wealthy contribute their fair share. Maine had the second-highest share of Social Security beneficiaries among states in the US in 2021.