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SUMMARY: Roby has expressed support for Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and his “Roadmap for America’s Future”, a comprehensive plan for America. His plan does propose significant changes to Medicare and Social Security that would privatize portions of the programs, but Roby has stated publicly she specifically opposes privatization of Medicare and Social Security.
ANALYSIS: Paul Ryan is the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee. His roadmap includes a plan to re-shape Medicare and Social Security. Ryan’s plan would preserve the existing Medicare program for all citizens 55 and older as of 2010. For those under 55, the plan creates a Medicare payment, initially averaging $11,000, to be used to purchase a Medicare-certified plan. The payment would increase with inflation, and be adjusted to coincide with income, with low-income individuals receiving greater support. The plan states it would also provide risk adjustment, so those with greater medical needs receive a higher payment.
Similarly, Ryan’s plan claims to preserve Social Security as it exists now for all citizens 55 and older. Workers under 55 would be given the option of investing more than one-third of Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts. The plan allows for benefits accrued to be passed on after death and includes a guarantee that the base investment can’t be lost if the investment fund does not return a rate that at least sustains the rate of inflation. As necessary, the government would make payments to account holders during retirement to make sure the investment re-turned at least the rate of inflation. The plan does, however, include an eventual rise in the retirement age.
To call it a “privatization” of Social Security would be a stretch, since most Social Security taxes would continue to be collected in the current manner.
According to a Congressional Budget Office analysis, the plan would keep Medicare and Social Security solvent for the next 75 years and beyond. The CBO stated revenue into Social Security would exceed expenditures by “substantial and rising amounts” even after 2083. Under the current plan, the CBO estimates the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted in 2042.
On June 4, Roby expressed support for Ryan and the roadmap in a prepared statement, but did not specifically mention the Medicare or Social Security proposals.
“The American people deserve better. They deserve solutions,” said Roby. “Conservative leaders like Rep. Paul Ryan are offering real solutions to cut wasteful spending, such as canceling unspent TARP and stimulus funds, cutting non-defense spending back to 2008 levels, and reducing the government workforce. I endorse these solutions and other common sense approaches to start getting our fiscal house back in order.”
Since then, she has publicly stated she opposes privatization. In an interview with the Dothan Eagle Editorial Board Sept. 23, Roby said she did not favor privatization. She has also stated her position on Medicare and Social Security on her website.
This is her general plan for Medicare and Social Security, according to her website:
“Create budgets for entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, and subject them to reauthorization and review.”