EXCLUSIVE: The Massively Unpopular GOP Plan to Raise Taxes and End Social Security and Medicare

Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican from Florida, is in charge of the GOP strategy for winning the US Senate. His plan for raising taxes and potentially sunsetting federal programs like Social Security and Medicare is massively unpopular, although most people don't seem to know much about it, according to recent polling. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

By Keya Vakil

May 5, 2022

The man in charge of winning back the Senate for Republicans introduced a plan that could impact millions of North Carolinians. Unfortunately, the public doesn’t know much about it. 

Did you know that the Republican senator in charge of winning back control of the Senate for his party introduced a plan to increase taxes on millions of North Carolinians and put Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the Affordable Care Act in jeopardy? 

If you answered ‘no,’ you’re not alone. According to a new Courier Newsroom/Data for Progress poll, 94% of likely voters said they have heard little or nothing at all about Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s 60-page plan to “Rescue America,” with 72% hearing nothing at all. 

[Editor’s Note: Courier Newsroom is the parent company of Cardinal & Pine.]

When voters learn about Scott’s plan though, they overwhelmingly oppose it, with 71% of respondents, including 62% of Republicans, opposing Scott’s plan. Only 15% of likely voters support the plan.

Such opposition is not surprising, since the Republican’s plan would raise taxes on tens of millions of Americans and “sunset” all federal legislation in five years, requiring Congress to re-authorize every federal law, including those governing Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. This could create an opening for Republicans—who have long sought to undermine the programs—to ultimately kill them. 

If Scott’s plan were to become law, it could:

  • End Social Security and Medicare for roughly 2.1 million North Carolinians
  • End Medicaid coverage for 2.2 million state residents
  • Raise taxes on 40% of people in the state, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy 
  • Raise taxes on 56% of small businesses in the state, with the typical business paying an extra $1800 per year in taxes, according to a White House analysis.

“Over two million elderly and disabled North Carolinians – and their family – rely on Medicare. We should be protecting this program, improving it and extending those protections to all rather than threatening it,” Dr. Jessica Schorr Saxe, a retired family physician and chair of the Charlotte-based advocacy group Health Care Justice – NC said during a Democratic press event last week.

“Instead, Republicans have proposed increasing taxes on lower income Americans, threatening their finances and sunsetting Social Security and Medicare.” 

Scott—who in 2018 was worth $260 millionhas defended his plan, even as it could have major implications for seniors, families, and the most vulnerable North Carolinians.

The survey of 1,110 likely voters, which was conducted from April 30 to May 3 also shows that the proposal from the Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee—the “only national organization dedicated to taking back the Senate majority”—could be electoral poison for Republicans. 

Forty-seven percent of independent voters said Scott’s plan would make them less likely to vote for Republican candidates for Congress in November, while only 12% said it would make them more likely to vote for him and 41% said it wouldn’t impact their choice.


  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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