Throughout the primary season, Todd Akin has made it known to every voter he met that he would like to privatize both Medicare and Social Security, and even said he doesn’t believe Medicare is Constitutional. If Todd Akin had his way, the security that Medicare and Social Security provides Missouri seniors would be removed and replaced with the whims of the big insurance companies and the stock market.
“Todd Akin has made it clear that he believes Medicare, a critical safety net relied upon by one million Missouri seniors, should not only be privatized, but that it’s also unconstitutional,” said Erik Dorey, McCaskill for Missouri spokesman. “Medicare and Social Security are crucial programs that Missouri seniors and working families will be counting on for years to come. It is offensive and completely out of touch that Todd Akin believes the solution to our problems is forcing Seniors into the hands of insurance companies and handing over their Social Security to Wall Street and the big banks.”
Speaking to a group of Central Missouri Tea Party activists last September, Akin openly doubted the constitutionality of Medicare:
AKIN: I don’t find in the Constitution that it is the job of the government to provide health care. [Columbia Daily Tribune, 9/4/11]
While Todd Akin has questioned Medicare's constitutionality and sponsored numerous proposals to turn Medicare into a voucher system, Claire's consistently been on the side of Missouri seniors and working families who want to responsibly bring down the debt while ensuring that the safety net that keeps many Missourians safe from poverty remains intact. Claire understands we need to fix Medicare and Social Security, but also knows that turning Medicare over to the big insurance companies is the wrong answer for Missouri's seniors.
Akin Doubted Constitutionality Of Medicare. Reported the Columbia Daily Tribune, “In a meeting yesterday with Central Missouri tea party activists, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin said he has doubts about the constitutionality of Medicare and thinks global warming ‘is highly suspect.’ . . . Akin’s remarks questioning the constitutionality of Medicare came as he was explaining his vote against prescription coverage under the medical plan for seniors and people with disabilities. He said it was too expensive, and ‘it was expanding an entitlement I wasn’t too comfortable with to begin with.’ Asked about the remarks after the meeting, Akin said, ‘I don’t find in the Constitution that it is the job of the government to provide health care.’” [Columbia Daily Tribune, 9/4/11]
Akin Acknowledged That Medicare Could Not Be Repealed For Practical Reasons. Reported the Columbia Daily Tribune, “But as a practical matter, he said, Medicare cannot be repealed. ‘Now people have contributed their money to it. Now people are dependent on it. Now we have an obligation, and we are between a rock and a hard place on it. I want to manage it to give people who depend on it the best quality health care we can.’” [Columbia Daily Tribune, 9/4/11]
VIDEO: Akin on Social Security: “I Don’t Like It.” In March 2011, Akin said he doesn’t like Social Security. “Now, Social Security through the years, for many, many people, has been a terrible investment. It’s really a tax, that’s all it is. Social Security is a tax. The government has taken the tax. There’s been more money coming in than going out. And we spend it. That’s not been responsible. I don’t like it. I didn’t design Social Security. It actually came from Bismarck, FDR put it in place.” [CSPAN Washington Journal,3/18/11]
Akin Has Twice Voted in Favor of the Paul Ryan Budget. In 2011 and again in 2012, Akin voted in favor the Republican budget plan introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan. Among other things, the Ryan budget would convert Medicare into a “premium support system” through which the government would pay private insurance companies directly for each enrollee. [Vote 277,4/15/11; Vote 151, 3/29/12]
Wall Street Journal: Ryan Budget Would “End Medicare.” According to the Wall Street Journal, “The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/04/11]
VIDEO: At a debate hosted by University of Missouri College Republicans this April, Rep. Akin voiced support for an outside of the mainstream Republican budget proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan that would privatize Medicare:
AKIN: We get rid of all of that government price structure and we allow a whole series of people to compete for the business, and there you get more of a free market system going. So this is a good idea. I voted for it. And either version of this, whether you want to do voucher or premium support. They're both good ideas, and I'd support either.
At a debate hosted by KTTS 97.1 radio in June Rep. Akin voiced his support to privatize Social Security:
Question: One of the proposals that's likely to be debated this race will be whether or not to privatize Social Security. I'm curious because so many Americans have trouble even understanding investment rules and guidelines. They make big mistakes and get involved in scams. If you were to privatize Social Security, would you not put millions of people at risk with their inability to properly invest their money, even though they have control over it?
AKIN: I think we might start first of all about being honest about Social Security--that it's broken--and the money is not going to be there before very long. And that it needs to be changed.
And I think those changes--first of all--people who are much older who are dependent and paid into the system. I think we want to be able to protect those people. And I think the system is changed more and more as you move younger in ages to give people more choices. And if they want to take responsibility for investing their own money, I think they can do better than the Federal government does.
And so in order to keep something that's broken--in order to fix it--I think there's sort of a sliding scale. The older people...In fact, I would even make the scale sliding so that if you're older you get more money, as you're younger you don't. Remember, it was 62 was the average age, and Social Security kicked in at 65, that meant half the people never got a nickel out of the system. Now it's 79, so we're going to have to raise the age on it. But, I think that you do need to have choice in the system.