The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Opinion | Medicare, Social Security, and reproductive freedom are threatened by the RSC in their new budget proposal

House Republicans proposed a frightening budget plan. While this plan probably won’t be made into law, it shows what our future could look like after November’s election.
Ayrton Breckenridge
The Iowa State Capitol is seen in Des Moines on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024.

U.S. House Republicans want to make living even harder for individuals with lower incomes, take away women’s bodily autonomy, and give tax cuts to the wealthy in our country.

On March 20, 80 percent of U.S. House Republicans voted to pass a frightening budget plan for fiscal year 2025. The proposal, titled “Fiscal Sanity to Save America,” makes cuts to Medicare, Social Security, and Affordable Care Act funds. It also aims to reduce access to abortions, raise the retirement age, and give more tax cuts to the wealthy.

If this proposal becomes law, Iowans will be greatly affected.

The federal proposal was written by the Republican Study Committee, or RSC, which also aims to increase the cost of prescription drugs, housing, and the cost of energy by getting rid of the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy tax credits. President Joe Biden said in his State of the Union Address that he stands against this budget proposal, vowing to stop Republicans from making cuts to Medicare and Social Security, and from raising the retirement age.

RSC represents the majority Republican ideal for how this country should run: By preventing access to abortions, stomping on the lower class’s access to health care, and letting big corporations dry them out of money. The RSC is a congressional caucus composed of Republicans.

As we near the next presidential election, it is important to interpret this budget proposal as a threat to the well-being of the 78 percent of Americans who are living paycheck to paycheck, according to a February article from Forbes.

The RSC’s plan to solve the issue of the lack of funding for Medicare is to implement the program into a “premium support model” that would give senior citizens a subsidy to pay towards private or Medicare insurance plans, while taking patients 55 and younger off Medicare.

Losing a big chunk of patients would increase out-of-pocket costs for premium private and Medicare insurance, according to a 2017 article from HealthAffairs. The proposal also aims to cut $1.5 trillion in Social Security by raising the age of retirement and reducing disability benefits, according to a March 21 White House Fact Check.

The RSC also stated in the plan that they want to implement the Life at Conception Act which would apply the 14th Amendment to all stages of life. This means legal protections would start at conception. They also endorse banning abortion after 15 weeks. In Iowa, abortion is banned after 20 weeks.

Additionally, part of the RSC proposal is to permanently implement former President Donald Trump’s 2017 rigged “small business” tax cut plan, which primarily benefited 82 wealthy families with a total of $1 billion in savings within the first year, according to a 2021 ProPublica expose.

Rather than cutting low-income households’ Social Security and Medicare benefits, our government should revise how much we spend on the military each year. This year totaled $841.4 billion for the Department of Defense, according to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024.

Meanwhile, Republicans want to force our older citizens to work longer, raising the retirement age to 69.  Inevitable higher-cost insurance plans will leave them to fend for themselves, especially in Iowa, which has a rapidly growing population of older people.

University of Iowa researchers found that Iowa has the largest percentage of adults over the age of 80 nationwide. By 2030, more Iowans will be 65 years old or older than 18 years old or younger.

According to the 2022 Iowa City census, 13 percent of Iowa City’s population is over the age of 65.

Our government could work on better solutions proposed by the Center for Medicare Advocacy, such as reducing the cost of prescription drugs, allowing Medicare drug cost negotiations with pharmaceutical companies, or equalizing the cost of both private and federal health insurance.

To ban access to abortion is to alienate women from the 14th Amendment, removing their identity as an American. Removing their bodily autonomy is an ironic move on the part of many conservatives since they usually proclaim to protect people’s autonomy in all stages of life.

Republicans’ and Democrats’ fiscal fumble should not fall on the shoulders of hardworking Americans. Women should not have to be terrified about the criminal legal implications of using IVF or getting an abortion, no matter the reason. The wealthy do not deserve any more tax cuts when there are kids worried about when their next meal will be.

During this upcoming election, we must understand that this proposal could easily become law, resulting in a larger wealth gap, lower healthcare security, and further restrictions  to women’s reproductive care.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Natalie Nye
Natalie Nye, Opinions Columnist
Natalie Nye is a fourth-year Journalism/Mass Communication student with a minor in art at the Univeristy of Iowa. She is an opinions columnist at The Daily Iowan and a freelance writer for Little Village magazine. She also has her own blog, called A Very Public Blog.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Ayrton Breckenridge, Managing Visuals Editor
Ayrton Breckenridge is the Managing Visuals Editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and cinema. This is his fourth year working for the DI.