While President Donald Trump is prompting outrage from liberal groups by making good on some of his most controversial campaign promises, AARP is reminding the new president that it expects him to keep another key promise he made to voters during the campaign.
“I am going to protect and save your Social Security and Medicare,” says Trump at one point during a 30-second TV ad the powerful lobby for senior citizens is airing across the country.
While many other GOP candidates that Trump bested last year talked about the need to reform Social Security and Medicare through partial privatization, Trump repeatedly vowed to keep the programs in tact as they currently exist.
Since his election, however, Trump has been largely mum on the issue, despite talk from Republicans in Congress, including Speaker Paul Ryan, about transforming Medicare from an open-ended entitlement to a “premium-support” program for seniors.
Many of Trump’s cabinet picks sowed further distrust of his commitment to his campaign promises. His nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, has long-backed an overhaul of Medicare.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has repeatedly highlighted Trump’s campaign promises regarding Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in an attempt to force the president’s hand on the issue.
"Either Donald Trump simply lied to the elderly and the working people of this country and just made campaign promises that he had no intention of keeping, or right now, before Congress wastes an enormous amount of time, Donald Trump has got to come forward — maybe through one of his tweets — and say clearly that Donald Trump will veto any legislation that cuts Medicare, that cuts Medicaid, or that cuts Social Security,” said Sanders in a speech on the Senate floor earlier this month.
Trump has kept mum, although chief-of-staff Reince Preibus last month told The Hill he did not think his boss wanted to “meddle” with the entitlement programs.