Florida State Senate President Mike Haridopolos says he supports House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan, except for a tweak of the Medicare reform provision where he believes the cutoff age should be lower than 55, to give people more time to make alternative plans.
Haridopolos, who is seeking the GOP nod to run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, has suggested the changes in Medicare should apply to those who are currently age 40 or 45.
“Medicare is not a welfare program,” Haridopolos said in an interview with The Weekly Standard. “It is a program that each one of us at this table will have paid 47 years of taxes for, and I’m a little reluctant to make that full jump.”
Haridopolos, 41, said he thinks Medicare reforms should apply to people in his age bracket so they “have 25 years to prepare.”
“That’s roughly what we’re looking at,” Haridopolos said. “If we’re going to make that transition, let’s give someone the true time to prepare.”
The U.S. Senate candidate’s plan makes sense for Florida since its senior population could be scared off by the Medicare provisions of the Ryan budget, according to the conservative FrumForum blog.
Haridopolos will be running in 2012 and Democrats are expected to make the GOP budget a focal point, so it would probably be beneficial for a candidate to separate from its Medicare provisions, FrumForum says.
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