With the midterm elections quickly approaching, some people are claiming that the House Republicans’ recently unveiled “Commitment to America” plan includes cuts to Social Security and Medicare for certain groups.
The plan outlines Republican policies that could be implemented if the party takes control of the House in November.
Some people on social media have shared a graphic that appears to show the GOP plan. The graphic includes language about making retirees who receive payments from pensions, IRAs, 401Ks or disabled veterans benefits “ineligible for Social Security benefits.” It also adds that House Republicans are planning to “raise the age for Medicare eligibility to 75” and end eligibility for anyone over the age of 90.
VERIFY reader Ruth emailed the team to ask whether it’s true that Republicans are planning to eliminate Social Security and Medicare, citing rumors circulating on Facebook.
Does the House Republicans’ “Commitment to America” plan specify cuts to Social Security and Medicare, like the viral graphic shows?
- “Commitment to America” plan on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s website
- TinEye, a reverse image search tool
- Mark Bednar, spokesperson for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy
- Lauren Fine, communications director for House Republican Whip Steve Scalise
No, the House Republicans’ “Commitment to America” plan does not specify cuts to Medicare or Social Security. The viral graphic is fake.
WHAT WE FOUND
In late September, House Republicans rolled out their “Commitment to America” plan, outlining GOP policy points on the economy, immigration and government accountability, among other areas.
The graphic that claims the plan would make cuts to Medicare and Social Security began making the rounds on social media in October. It shows the same logo as the “Commitment to America” plan and spells out what Republicans will purportedly do if they take the majority in this election.
Using TinEye, a reverse image search tool, VERIFY did not find any instances of this graphic shared by any official House GOP accounts or Republican members of Congress.
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A one-page summary of the official plan doesn’t outline any specific policy changes that would make certain groups ineligible for Social Security benefits or end Medicare eligibility, either. It only mentions these programs briefly, saying the plan will “save and strengthen” Medicare and Social Security.
House Republicans expand upon this idea further in a four-page summary of the plan’s budget proposals, writing that, “Congress must be prepared to make reforms to extend the solvency of the entitlement programs.” But the budget plan doesn’t name any specific government entitlement programs, nor does it propose the cuts to Medicare or Social Security included in the graphic shared on social media.
Entitlement programs are generally defined as those that guarantee payments to people who meet certain criteria set by the law, including Social Security and Medicare.
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House Republicans have proposed some changes to Social Security and Medicare. But those changes are included in a budget proposal from a House GOP study committee, which advances Republican policies in the House, not the “Commitment to America” plan.
A fiscal year 2023 budget proposal from the Republican Study Committee (RSC) suggests the Medicare eligibility age should be adjusted due to an increase in the average life expectancy, though it doesn’t provide a specific age. A previous 2022 budget proposal from the RSC also suggested that Social Security’s retirement age be upped to 70.
The 2023 RSC proposal also recommends that employers and workers could be allowed to forgo paying a portion of payroll taxes, which are used to fund programs such as Social Security and Medicare, and “instead use those funds to pay for private disability insurance.”
None of these proposals match what is on the viral graphic.
Mark Bednar, a spokesperson for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, said in an emailed statement that the viral graphic is "fabricated" and contains "false information."
VERIFY also reached out to Lauren Fine, communications director for House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, who confirmed the points in the fake social media graphics are not included in the real “Commitment to America” plan.