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Friday, October 28, 2016

At an event sponsored by Americans for Prosperity on Wednesday night, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said the U.S. government should find a way to “phase out” Medicare, the federal health insurance program for Americans aged 65+ and some disabled people, and “move to a new system.”

In a back-and-forth with an audience member at a New Hampshire town hall event on Thursday, Bush attempted to clarify his remarks, saying the government needs to “reform our entitlement system,” Politico reports.

“It’s an actuarially unsound health care system,” Bush told the audience member.

“The people that are receiving these benefits, I don’t think that we should touch that; but your children and grandchildren are not going to get the benefit of this that they believe they’re going to get, or that you think they’re going to get, because the amount of money put in compared to the amount of money the system costs is wrong.”

Repeating himself, Bush reiterated a talking point about social spending that some question. “Despite recent evidence that the program’s finances are secure, the former Florida governor suggested that Medicare isn’t solvent,” ThinkProgress reports.

At the event on Wednesday, speaking about Medicare, Bush said, “I think a lot of people recognize that we need to make sure we fulfill the commitment to people that have already received the benefits, that are receiving the benefits. But that 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 usual, Jeb Bush means what he originally said. But this point actually does bear repeating, as Kevin Drum at Mother Jones reported this week: Medicare “spending is projected to slow down around 2040, and reaches only 6 percent of GDP by 2090.” Sounds like the entitlement program may be more stable than Bush cares to admit.

Photo: Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush answers a question from the audience during a town hall campaign stop at the VFW Post in Hudson, New Hampshire, July 8, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

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Copyright 2015 The National Memo
  • Lynda Groom

    Most of us are smart enough to not step in the same pile of crap over and over again. Then again, there’s Bush III. What a putz!

  • charleo1

    “___Because they’re not going to have anything.” So how are the funds holding up for Congressional pensions, and medical benefits?

    • Eleanore Whitaker

      Look in the mirror…lol

      • Independent1

        Are you sure?? My guess is that their program may be in better shape than that of the full population – given that both their programs are covering a select group of people that on average are much more affluent. Legislators may live longer but virtually all of them are contributing to the max income level; and their greater affluence should result in better healthcare outcomes.

        • Eleanore Whitaker

          Oh how little you know about your contributions to politicians via your paychecks. If I know more than the average person about healthcare, for example, it might be because as an office/accounting manager for more than 3 decades, I was constantly having to deal with Big Insurance for healthcare, liability and employee disability. The stories I could tell would make your hair stand on end.

          You will find that most legislators are not part of the “middle class.” You do realize that for every speech or conference appearance any of them make, they can receive huge stipends you can’t?

          Affluenza in the US is the worst contagious disease of the modern age. It has spawned a generation or more of reckless, irresponsible ingrates who believe in their own wealth entitlement without zero obligation to who else helped them get rich.

    • idamag

      Good point!

  • Dominick Vila

    Poor Jeb. In his zest to appeal to the far right, he put his foot in his mouth and is trying to extricate himself from political hara kiri…and the ire of millions of senior citizens who do vote. His statement is on record, and efforts to clarify it are likely to fall on deaf ears. Especially of Democratic strategists remind seniors on a daily basis of what Jeb and his ilk have in mind for them.

    • Polana

      He forgot to say READ my LIPS.

      • Dominick Vila

        At this point, the only truthful explanation would be: I want to privatize Social Security and MEDICARE, but I am afraid of the seniors’ backlash.

        • CPAinNewYork

          Jeb doesn’t want to replace Medicare. He just wants to end it, just as he just wants to end Social Security.

    • joebatch

      @Dominick Vila, It would be nice if only the Koch bros. would be his only consituency left. But sad to say the very ones he wants to work until they turn 75 or drop dead,get rid of their medical program,play God with their life decisions,slash taxes for the rich and start more wars for them,their kids and grand kids to be cannon fodder for are chomping at the bit for election day to vote for him,or Trump,Walker and the rest of that rep/t party ilk. Some how they believe that they will be immune from the Hell fires that will rain down on this country them included if any of them get the chance to become president. Within days they will finally know just how it will feel to be considered one of the ‘others’ they so loath and despise in the marrow of their ‘souls’.

      • TZToronto

        What the far right want is an end to taxes and to be able to keep everything they already get from the government. I say repeal the 18th Amendment, abolish federal income taxes, and go back to what the Constitution says about how the the federal government is financed–the states have to fork over the money based on their population (and those 3/5 of a person don’t count any more). How do you think that will sit with the folks in the red states? Secession, anyone?

        • joebatch

          @TZToronto, I LOVE,LOVE the way you think. I say go for it!! And the red states would howl like struck pigs if this ever cam to pass.

        • Allan Richardson

          Actually, the bulk of the pre-1913 federal budget (except for the Civil War years when an income tax was imposed, then struck down after the war) was from two major sources: import tariffs, which were high enough to serve both a protective function and act as a significant source of revenue, and ALCOHOL TAXES. The 16th Amendment, and the impending likely passage of the 19th (women voting), made the 18th (Prohibition) politically feasible. Even so, the nature of an industrial urban economy inherently requires more collective (“socialist”) investment by both state and federal governments than that of a pre-industrial agrarian rural economy, requiring a larger tax base than imports and sin taxes (I’m not sure I agree, but some claim the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was a contributing factor in the Great Depression). I’m not sure how the “state apportioned” taxes were collected before 1913, logistically, but trying to bring that back today would be much more difficult; in fact, since the federal government collects so much more than state governments, the “tax” allocations might actually be a “deduction” from federal grants paid to assist the states with various economic issues.

          As for the “flat” tax, the actual form in which it is likely to be passed, if it is passed, would be anything but “flat.” If it is a sales tax (like the “fair” tax proposals), it would hit the poorest people the hardest, since the poor have to spend EVERYTHING they make on consumer goods, and so they would end up paying 30 percent (the most commonly proposed rate) of their total INCOME on taxes, while the middle class, who spend perhaps 90 percent of their income, would pay about 27 percent, and anyone wealthy enough to require only 1 percent of their income (or less) on even an extravagant lifestyle (1 percent of 100 million is a million a year) would pay 0.3 percent of their income on a sales tax.

          If a “flat” INCOME tax is proposed, it would likely require payroll withholding with no, or very limited, deductions or exemptions, and no annual form to file (sounds great, right?), but NOT withholding from interest on accounts, dividends, capital gains, etc. In other words, the PRIMARY source of very LARGE incomes would be COMPLETELY untaxed, while the primary source of most people’s income would be taxed high enough to make up the difference. So the good part is, I won’t have to pay an extra $50 for the capital gains of $500 I made last year, but neither will the billionaire have to pay anything on the $500 million that he made. And you and I won’t be able to claim any of the “compassionate” deductions we are used to such as medical expenses or theft or casualty losses.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    You can just bet he wants to get rid of Medicare…just not your payroll deductions you PAY for Medicare, SS or Medicaid. That would be an excellent flush of billions every pay period to Wall Street to gamble with. Crash Baby Crash..these jerks of wealth never learn until their threadbare shoes are on their own feet.

    • idamag

      Remember what baby bush tried to do? He wanted to put Social Security on the stock market and remember what happened to the stock market when he was president?

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        Actually, JEB has a much darker reason for wanting to put Medicare in the hands of Wall Street…his dealings. He was involved in a Miami Florida scam that bilked Medicare out of $2 million. Padreda and Recarey fell on their sword for JEB. They went to prison. JEB came up smelling like a rose and it was on to bankrupting the Miami Federal with his brother, Neil, for whom this was the 2nd bankruptcy of Neil’s career. Another $22 million paid for by taxpayers.

        So you know whenever a GOP Gestapo sees a pile of money accruing like SS, Medicare or Medicaid from payroll tax deductions, they smell big time Wall Street profits for their stocks…if only taxpayers would hand all of those payroll deductions over to the GOP to play with.

  • Independent1

    “As usual, Jeb Bush means what he originally said. But this point actually does bear repeating, as Kevin Drum at Mother Jones reported this week: Medicare “spending is projected to slow down around 2040, and reaches only 6 percent of GDP by 2090.” Sounds like the entitlement program may be more stable than Bush cares to admit.”

    I’m not the bit surprised ad Jeb’s comment. Jeb boy is just using the GOP’s standard operating procedure of ‘let’s create a scare factor to hoodwink all our dumbcoff right-wing base and even other less than aware Americans” – even if we have to lie through our teeth to do so.

    • idamag

      Preston Bush fought against Social Security under the Roosevelt Administration and vowed to see it repealed. The apples did not fall far from the tree.

      • Joseph Kelsall

        Maybe it was a Bush Apple tree?

      • TZToronto

        That was Prescott Bush, but yes, he did. He also worked with the Nazis. As a reward, he was elected Senator from CT.

        • idamag

          Prior to World War II, the nazi party was open in the U.S. Then it wnt underground. The John Birch Society was an offshoot of the nazi party. Now, it is becoming open again. There are white supremacist groups that salute the nazi flag and celebrate hitler’s birthday. If I deluded myself that it wasn’t going to happen here, in the Northwest, it was a delusion. I saw a red pickup truck sporting a confederate flag there was one on the horse Saturday. Our nation is devolving.

  • idamag

    First, are these just words from someone who will never have to worry about his or his parents’ healthcare costs? Where is the proof? We do pay a premium for Medicare. If it is inadequate, raise it. We were told the premium was less than market premium because overhead costs were much less because Medicare is not on the stock market. People who have employer-based health insurance – your job won’t last forever. Too many people, and that includes some seniors, have the attitude: “I got mine, to hell with you.”

  • ikallicrates

    Which candidates get elected doesn’t matter because they’re all owned by the 1%. The media pretend that elections matter because they’re also owned by the 1%, and their owners order the media to talk about elections instead of issues that really do matter.

  • Joseph Kelsall

    Seeing as Jeb Bush will not even sniff election as POTUS, it is of no consequence what he says. At least, that’s how it looks from Europe.

  • Wedge Shot

    We need another Bush like we need a knife in the heart.
    This Bush is as bad or worse than the last.

  • susan.thomas32


  • idamag

    susan thomas32 is a scam

  • Canistercook

    Well something needs changing. The TV would go out of business without all the drug advertising ‘Ask your doctor’!