'Gen-X and Boomer women' are prime targets of the GOP war on Social Security and Medicare: activists

'Gen-X and Boomer women' are prime targets of the GOP war on Social Security and Medicare: activists
Hundreds of union activists from the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) rallied at the Minneapolis Social Security Field Office on Wednesday, Aug. 27 to shed light on the Social Security Administration's plan to close virtually every field office in Minnesota and across the country; limiting customer service options for American seniors and persons with disabilities. Credit: AFGE https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

When Democrats enjoyed a major blue wave in the 2006 midterms, one of their top issues was the Iraq War. But Democrats, especially Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, also pounded then-President George W. Bush relentlessly over his proposal to privatize Social Security — which, Pelosi warned, would be disastrous for older Americans.

Sixteen years later, some Republicans are still proposing that Social Security and Medicare be privatized. Some Republican U.S. Senate candidates, including Blake Masters in Arizona and Don Bolduc in New Hampshire, have, at times, made that proposal but flip flopped when Democrats attacked them for it.

In an op-ed published by The Hill on October 19, Beth Almeida and Maggie Jo Buchanan of the Center for American Progress Action Fund warn that for “Boomer and Gen-X” women over 50, there is a lot at stake in the 2022 midterms — and Social Security and Medicare are at the top of the list.

READ MORE: Privatizing Social Security is 'a loser' for Republicans — but they keep proposing it anyway

“Despite women’s electoral heft, Republican Senate candidates like Blake Masters of Arizona, Adam Laxalt of Nevada and Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin have called for cuts to two key programs on which 50+ women disproportionately rely on and strongly support: Social Security and Medicare,” Almeida and Buchanan explain. “But the truth is that they are hardly alone in today’s MAGA Republican Party. In fact, roughly 75 percent of Republicans in the U.S. House have signed on to a budget plan that would cut these programs. And a new report out this week reveals that all four Republicans running for the top slot on the House Budget Committee are vowing to hold America’s credit rating hostage and plunge our economy into recession in order to force severe cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits.”

Almeida and Buchanan note that “kitchen-table economic issues loom large for 50+ women,” adding that “Baby Boomer and Gen X women” have “participated…. in the labor force at rates that exceed any prior generation and are the fastest-growing age-gender category in the labor market today.”

“Social Security provides lifetime, inflation-adjusted income, which is especially important for women, who live longer, on average, than men,” Almeida and Buchanan note. “Yet…. leading congressional Republicans have recently renewed their focus on cutting retirement benefits if they take back control of the House of Representatives, without regard for women’s health and security in retirement. Health coverage — particularly Medicare — similarly, is a lifeline for aging women, who have greater lifetime medical costs when compared with men.”

Almeida and Buchanan point out that the same Republicans who are attacking reproductive rights for younger women are attacking Social Security and Medicare for older women.

READ MORE: GOP planning 'catastrophic default' if Democrats refuse to cut Social Security and Medicare

“In concert with extremists’ desire to deny the basic dignity of all women through the removal of their reproductive rights and agency, the experiences, priorities and needs of older women are often diminished and marginalized — in our politics, media and everyday life,” Almeida and Buchanan warn. “Policymakers should commit to a new path forward and ensure that the issues that matter most to older women take center stage in their policy agendas. If candidates are not responsive to their needs, women will undoubtedly remember when they cast their ballots this fall.”

READ MORE: Threatening to crash the economy on purpose': GOP to gut Social Security and Medicare if it wins House

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