Our View: Social Security and Medicare Need Automatic Funding | Editorials

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Kudos to suggestions from leading Senate Republicans that Social Security and Medicare should be removed from the automatic funding process that ensures everyone who has paid into the programs continues to receive their benefits.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida, is promoting the idea of ​​ending “all federal legislation” after five years, which means all programs and their funding would have to be renewed by Congress. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., went further last week, saying Social Security and Medicare should be classified as discretionary spending, with Congress allowed to set their budgets each year.

Since its inception in the 1930s, Social Security has saved millions of older Americans from living in poverty. Medicare followed in the 1960s, preventing many retirees from going bankrupt due to medical expenses.

Both programs were largely funded by Americans who contributed to them throughout their working lives. Yes, the programs have problems and funding needs to increase to keep them from running out of money in the not so distant future. Democrats have put forward a plan that would, among other things, increase payroll taxes on top earners.

Jeopardizing these programs every year or every five years by throwing them in front of a Congress that cannot agree on almost everything is foolish.

Provide students

Congratulations to the work done by volunteers and organizations to provide children in need with their school supplies.

Efforts span across the region. The recent back-to-school celebration hosted by the Salvation Army distributed supplies. And there have been supply drives organized by local groups such as the Mankato Elks Lodge and the Friends of Learning Back-to-School Project which provide backpacks of supplies to students in the area.

And the efforts continue, including the YWCA Back to School Party from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday near Shelter 2 at Sibley Park. (See the Monday August 22 Informer for opportunities to contribute to this and other readers.)

The demand for supplies is high. Providing supplies helps students start the school year with some of the tools they need to succeed while showing them that they are valued by their community.

More affordable health care

Kudos to the passage of the Cut Inflation Act, which will continue to lower health insurance costs for Minnesotans who purchase their private health care plans through the MNsure marketplace exchange.

The legislation, signed by President Joe Biden and passed only by congressional Democrats, will extend subsidies to 70,000 Minnesotans who buy health care through the exchange. The plan saves Minnesota households an average of $6,100 a year through the use of $281 million in tax credits.

Minnesota’s subsidy plan and Minnesota’s choice to extend Medicaid coverage to the poor under the Affordable Care Act has helped reduce the number of Minnesotans without health insurance to about 4%, or about half the national average.

While Republicans have always mocked MNsure and often threatened to shut it down, consumers apparently don’t see it the same way.

Some 134,000 Minnesotans signed up for MNsure and purchased private insurance through the exchange, a 10% increase from the previous year.

This is Trump’s party

Kudos to the all-Trump attitude of the Republican Party, exemplified most vividly this week by Wyoming’s congressional primary.

Rep. Liz Cheney, daughter of the former vice president, is, by traditional standards, right-wing in the GOP. But she drew the line by inciting a coup attempt and overturning a US election. And it resulted in a sonic beating in the Republican primary at the hands of an election denier.

Ten Republicans in the US House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump last year. Of these 10, only two will appear on the November ballot. Four (including Rep. Adam Kitzinger, who serves with Cheney on the Jan. 6 inquiry committee) did not file for re-election and four, including Cheney, lost in the primaries.

There must be Republicans appalled by Trump. Too few of them fought.

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