Trump’s Social Security Adviser Called For Privatization Of Medicare

AP

On the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump promised not to touch Medicare or Social Security, but Trump’s selection of Tom Leppert to lead the “landing team” at the Social Security Administration may suggest Trump’s administration could move in a different direction.

CNN flagged Monday that Leppert, a former Dallas mayor, has been on record supporting the privatization of Medicare and Social Security.

Leppert revealed his privatization plan in 2012 when he was running in the Republicans Senate primary in Texas, according to CNN. The plans, which were archived and first discovered by CNN, reveal Leppert was a major supporter of privatization.

“I will never shy away from any issue, even the so-called “third rail” of entitlement reform. Talk to any young person today, and they will tell you Social Security and Medicare won’t be there for their generation,” Leppert wrote. “To preserve these vital programs, we first and foremost must not change anything for those ages 55 and older. These folks rely on their benefits and we’ve made a promise to them. But for younger workers, we need to provide Medicare subsidies for the purchase of certified private plans, raise the retirement age, encourage greater retirement savings, and launch an initiative of Personal Retirement Accounts to allow every American, not just the wealthy, to save and invest toward their retirement.”

Leppert went on to explain in more detail that he supports now House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan

“I believe we must move to a system like that provided to Members of Congress. This premium support model would give seniors greater choice and independence. They can choose the plan that is right for them, with subsidies provided by Medicare. This would be gradually phased-in over time and would not affect anyone currently over the age of 55,” the plan said. “For younger individuals, when they reach retirement, they will receive a subsidy from the federal government that will allow them to purchase certified coverage plans. Those with the lowest incomes would receive more funds from vouchers and would be eligible for additional Medicaid coverage.”

Leppert didn’t win the primary bid for the Senate in 2012. He has most recently served as the CEO of Kaplan, the education and test prep company. He endorsed Trump early in the primary.

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Lauren Fox is a reporter at Talking Points Memo.
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