A Republican Plan to Raise Taxes on Virginians and Potentially End Social Security and Medicare is Massively Unpopular, Poll Shows

By Keya Vakil

May 10, 2022

Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who is in charge of winning back control of the US Senate for the Republican Party, introduced a plan that would raise taxes and could end Social Security and Medicare for 1.6 million Virginians and eliminate Medicaid coverage for 1.8 million residents.

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 Virginians 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. 

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 exactly 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 1.6 million Virginians
  • End Medicaid coverage for 1.8 million residents
  • Raise taxes on 35% of people in the state, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy 
  • Raise taxes on 46% of small businesses in the state, with the typical business paying an extra $1700 per year in taxes, according to a White House analysis.

“Rick Scott has made it crystal clear that if Republicans take control of Congress this November, Virginia families will be the ones on the chopping block. Rick Scott’s plan will raise costs on Virginia families when they’re already suffering the most,” said Democratic Party of Virginia Spokesperson Gianni Snidle. “If there’s any question about where Republicans stand, it’s not with everyday Virginians; it’s with the corporations and the mega-wealthy. That is why it is imperative that we fully support our Virginia Democrats who have helped lead the charge and have consistently fought for Virginia families.”

Scott—who in 2018 was worth $260 millionhas defended his plan, even as it could have potentially devastating consequences for seniors, families, and the most vulnerable Virginians.

The survey of 1,110 likely voters, which was conducted from April 30 to May 3, 2022 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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