Iowa 2nd District Congressman Dave Loebsack warned state fairgoers Monday that if Republicans retain control of the U.S. House, there will be a renewed attempt at entitlement reform directed at the nation’s senior citizens.
Loebsack was first elected in a Democratic wave in 2006 after President George W. Bush’s plan to privatize social security failed to advance.
“It crashed and burned due to bipartisan opposition,” Loebsack said from the Des Moines Register Soapbox at the fair.
More recently, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has championed privatizing social security and getting Medicare costs under control.
“Paul Ryan may be leaving as Speaker of the House, and I’m happy that's the case,” Loebsack said. “But whoever replaces him if Republicans get the majority will call for the same thing and that's privatizing social security and voucherizing Medicare.”
Loebsack is referring to a proposal to give retirees a lump sum to acquire health insurance on their own.
“If anyone here thinks you can take $6,000 or $7,000 from the federal government and get a health care policy at age 65 that's going to provide you anywhere near the benefits from Medicare,” Loebsack said, “I’m here to tell you that isn't going to happen.”
According to some published reports, Speaker Ryan has been in discussions with the Trump administration about privatizing Medicare.
Democrats are waging aggressive campaigns hoping to take back control of the U.S. House in November. Incumbent 1st District Rep. Rod Blum faces a strong challenge from Democrat Abby Finkenauer and some analysts are calling the race Iowa race between Republican 3rd District incumbent David Young and Democratic challenger Cindy Axne a tossup.
Loebsack would not comment on the likelihood that voters in Iowa or in other districts around the country will put Democrats back in control.
“Democrats have real opportunities,” Loebsack said.