October 23, 2018 Press Releases


Roskam Has Voted to Privatize Medicare & Turn it Into Voucher Program, Authored Tax Giveaway for the Wealthy That GOP Wants to Pay For With Social Security &  Medicare Cuts

(Downers Grove, IL)  October 22, 2018 – During tonight’s WTTW debate, Peter Roskam tried to hide the fact that he has consistently tried to cut Social Security and Medicare throughout his long career in politics. Roskam has voted time and again to turn Medicare into a voucher program, has supported privatizing Medicare and Social Security, and he authored the Trump tax bill that added $2 trillion to the deficit that Republican leaders want to pay for by cutting Social Security and Medicare.

Sean Casten, on the other hand, has visited and held open discussions at over a dozen retirement communities in IL-06 about the need to protect Social Security and Medicare, and he has earned the endorsement of Social Security Works and the Alliance of Retired Americans.


Check The Facts:

Roskam Has Called Medicare Recipients “Entitled Individuals”: In August, Peter Roskam referred to 115,162 of his constituents as “entitled individuals” and discussed the need to cut the program.

Peter Roskam Has Voted to Turn Medicare Into Voucher Program: Roskam previously voted for Paul Ryan’s budgets, which would privatize Medicare and turn it into a voucher program and remove the Medicare guarantee:

  • Roskam Voted For FY16 Republican Budget. [H. Con Res. 27, Vote #142, 3/25/15; New York Times, 3/25/15]

  • National Committee To Preserve Social Security & Medicare: House GOP Budget Would Privatize Medicare With Voucher Plan, Leave Seniors & Disabled “Hostage To Whims of Private Insurance Companies”  [National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, 3/17/15]

  • New York Times: 2015 House GOP Budget Would Turn Medicare Into A “Voucherlike” Program. “The plan envisions a remaking of the federal government. Future recipients of Medicare would be offered voucherlike ‘premium support’ to pay for private insurance rather than government-provided health care. Spending on Medicaid would be cut substantially over 10 years, with the money turned into block grants to state governments, which in turn would have much more flexibility in deciding how it is allocated.” [New York Times, 3/17/15]

  • AARP: Republican Budget Would Remove the Medicare Guarantee. “Removing the Medicare guarantee of affordable health coverage for older Americans by implementing a premium support system and asking seniors and future retirees to pay more is not the right direction.” [AARP Press Release, 4/01/14]

  • 2013: Voted For FY 2014 Ryan Budget That Called For Restructuring Of Medicare Into A “Premium Support” System. [H. Con. Res, 25, Vote #88, 3/21/13; CQ, 3/21/13]

  • National Journal: “For Those Younger Than Age 55, Medicare Could Look Unrecognizable” If Ryan Budget Were Implemented. “And, for those younger than age 55, Medicare could look unrecognizable: People receive a fixed sum of money from the federal government to buy health insurance in their old age, regardless of the way inflation has caused health care costs to increase.” [National Journal, 3/10/13]

  • 2012: Roskam Voted For The FY 2013 House Republican Budget. [H. Con. Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12; CQ, 3/29/12]

  • Associated Press: Republican Budget Would Turn Medicare Into A “Voucher-Like System.” [Associated Press, 3/30/12]

  • NCPSSM: Republican Budget “Would End Traditional Medicare, Make It Harder For Seniors To Choose Their Own Doctors, And Increase Health Care Costs For Both Current And Future Retirees.”  [ncpssm.org, 6/15/12]

  • 2011: Voted For FY 2012 House Republican Budget That Altered Medicare And Allowed $2.8 Trillion In New Budget Authority. [H. Con. Res. 34, Vote #277]

  • Wall Street Journal: Republican Budget “Would Essentially End Medicare” And Covert The Program Into A “Premium Support” System.  [Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]

  • 2009: Roskam Voted For FY 2010 Alternative House Republican Plan, Which Turned Medicare Into A Voucher Program [H. Con. Res. 85, Vote #191, 4/2/09]

Roskam has actively campaigned on turning Medicare into a “voucher program”:

  • 2012: Chicago Daily Herald: Roskam Called The Ryan Medicare Voucher Plan A “Game-Changer” For Medicare. “Critics say Ryan’s idea is a voucher plan that won’t fully cover health care expenses for a new generation of seniors. Roskam counters that the proposal is a game-changer for Medicare, which will be insolvent in 12 years otherwise. ‘Up until now, the reining political orthodoxy says, ‘Medicare is the third rail of politics — if you talk about it, you’re going to lose, so don’t talk about and say you’re for these programs.’ To say you’re for something that will be insolvent — there’s no kindness in that,’ Roskam said.” [Chicago Daily Herald, 10/23/12]

  • 2012: Roskam On The Ryan Budget & Vouchers For Medicare: “I Don’t Hear [Seniors] Say, ‘I Want Less Control Of My Future,’ They’re Interested In More Control Of Their Future.” “Roskam thinks concerns about vouchers are unsubstantiated. In speaking with seniors, ‘I don’t hear them say, ‘I want less control of my future,’ they’re interested in more control of their future,’ he said. Roskam also advocates using technology to stop Medicare fraud, and he is pushing for tort reform that would ‘control runaway (malpractice) lawsuits.” [Chicago Daily Herald, 10/23/12]

  • 2012: Roskam Said He Was “Actively Advocating” Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan, Which Sought To Provide Medicare Vouchers For Senior Citizens. “The two candidates differed significantly on how Congress should handle the budget deficit and the nation’s $16 trillion debt. Roskam, of Wheaton, said he is ‘actively advocating’ the balanced budget plan proposed by Wisconsin congressman and now GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. […] Wheaton attorney Roskam says the president’s plan is ‘filled with broken promises, higher costs, de-creased care and unsustainable programs.’ He supports fellow congressman and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s budget that recommends an overhaul of Medicare. The Ryan plan would leave Medicare un-changed for anyone age 55 and over. Once those who are younger than 55 now are eligible, they would be given a payment to be used to enroll in Medicare or a private insurance company, indexed to inflation. The age a person could enroll in Medicare would gradually be raised from 65 to 67. Critics say Ryan’s idea is a voucher plan that won’t fully cover health care expenses for a new generation of seniors.” [Kane County Chronicle, 10/2/12; Chicago Daily Herald, 10/23/12]


Roskam Has Backed Extreme GOP Plan To Privatize Social Security despite claiming to be opposed to privatizing Social Security:

  • 2006: Roskam Supported “Regulated Individual Retirement Accounts” For Younger Workers. “In Illinois’ 6th congressional district, Democrats attacked state Sen. Peter Roskam (R) for his answers to questionnaires by two pressure groups, the AARP and the National Taxpayers Union. In the NTU’s questionnaire, Roskam said he would Significant Findings  Claimed he did not support Social Security privatization, but advocated for private accounts that advocates considered privatization and said would undermine social security Claimed Social Security insolvency was “greatly exaggerated” Claimed he would “never” cut Social Security benefits or raise the retirement age  Supported allowing automatic enrollment employees in employer-sponsored 401(k) plans 322 ‘work and vote for Social Security Choice that will allow younger workers to have the choice of investing much of their Social Security taxes in regulated individual retirement accounts.” [The Hill, 09/21/06]

  • National Committee To Preserve Social Security And Medicare: “Personal Retirement Accounts = Social Security Privatization.” “Personal Retirement Accounts = Social Security Privatization[.] Individual Retirement Accounts Are a Recipe for Benefit Cuts[.] Even partial privatization of Social Security would require huge benefit cuts for today’s workers, especially younger workers. Such plans are touted as being voluntary, but a recent study found that a worker who retires in 2032 and does not opt for a private account would still see a 17 percent cut below current retirement benefits. Some workers who do opt for private individual accounts could face a reduction in benefits of almost 50 percent. The recent decline in the stock market is a reminder of the importance of Social Security. Social Security is an insurance program, not an investment vehicle. Social Security is not supposed to make you rich, it is supposed to prevent you from slipping into poverty.” [National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, accessed 6/9/17]

This past week, GOP Leader Mitch McConnell joined Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in calling for cuts to Social Security and Medicare to pay for Roskam’s tax scam:.

  • HEADLINE: Newsweek: Mitch McConnell Calls For Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid Cuts After Passing Tax Cuts, Massive Defense Spending. [Newsweek, 10/16/18]

  • HEADLINE: After Tax Overhaul, GOP Sets Sights on Medicare, Social Security. [US News, 12/7/17]

  • HEADLINE: Ryan Says Republicans To Target Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid Spending In 2018. [Washington Post, 12/6/17]

  • After Passing A Tax Bill That Added Trillions To The Deficit, Speaker Ryan Said Medicare And Medicaid Would Need To Be “Reformed” In Order To Decrease The Deficit. “With his dream of tax reform now realized, Ryan is hoping to make progress on two other issues he’s targeted during his two-decade career in Washington: entitlement and welfare reform. ‘We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,’ Ryan, a former Budget Committee chairman, said in a recent interview this month on the Ross Kaminsky radio talk show. Medicare and Medicaid are the ‘big drivers of debt,’ Ryan said, suggesting Republicans could once again use the budget reconciliation process to avoid a Democratic filibuster. Medicare is the ‘biggest entitlement that’s got to have reform,’ Ryan added.” [The Hill, 12/27/17]

  • The US Budget Deficit Ballooned To $779 Billion This Year, The Highest Since 2012, Driven By Trump’s Tax Law. “The US federal budget deficit jumped to $779 billion in fiscal year 2018, the highest level since 2012, according to the Treasury Department. […] The increase in the deficit contradicts Trump and other officials promise that the GOP tax bill would ‘pay for itself.’ […] According to official projections, the deficit is only going to grow form here on out. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the budget deficit for 2019 will be just a hair under $1 trillion and will eclipse $1 trillion in 2020, the first deficit of that size since the depths of the financial crisis.” [Business Insider, 10/15/18]