Biden accuses GOP senator of being 'confused' for criticism of Medicare policies; senator fires back


Biden accuses GOP senator of being ‘confused’ for criticism of Medicare policies

Economists say Social Security and Medicare programs will drive the national debt to unprecedented highs over the next few decades.

President Biden on Wednesday accused Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., of being "confused" for suggesting that the president’s cuts to prescription drug costs amounted to cuts to Medicare.  

The remarks came during a speech the president gave before an audience of IBEW union workers gathered in Lanham, Maryland. 

"[Sen. Scott] says that because I’m cutting prescription drug costs, that means I’m cutting Medicare. Where’s he been? I think he’s a little confused," Biden said. "We’re saving Medicare hundreds of billions of dollars over time. We’re strengthening Medicare because they’ll no longer have to pay exorbitant prices for Big Pharma." 

President Biden speaks about the economy to union members at the IBEW Local Union 26 in Lanham, Maryland, on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci / AP Newsroom)

The president said his cuts to prescription drug costs — such as capping the cost of insulin at $35 a month — will save seniors "millions of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses." 

"The only person who is confused here is Joe Biden," Scott shot back later Wednesday. 

"That’s the only way to explain how he’s forgotten that he spent decades trying to cut Social Security and Medicare," Scott said. "I’ll give him one thing: Biden’s decision to not keep $280 billion in Medicare is a cut and that’s consistent with his yearslong work to cut and attack entitlement programs." 


In the 1970s, then-Sen. Biden introduced a bill to sunset entitlement programs — including Social Security. 

Biden, meanwhile, has been ramping up attacks on Republicans who have floated cuts to Social Security and Medicare. In his State of the Union address last week, the president said Republicans wanted to cut Medicare and Social Security — programs for mostly older Americans — as part of budget talks.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, on Feb. 26, 2021. (REUTERS/Octavio Jones / Reuters Photos)

At a speech in Florida on Thursday, Biden held up a pamphlet about Scott in which the Republican said he wants to require that the programs be authorized every five years. 


"I know that a lot of Republicans — their dream is to cut your Social Security and Medicare," Biden said at the lectern. "If that’s your dream, I’m your nightmare." 

Biden's comment comes one day after press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said he is the "best communicator" in the White House.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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