GOP senator says lawmakers should ‘talk’ about changing retirement age

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Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said on Sunday that his fellow lawmakers should “talk” more about changing the retirement age for people currently in their 20s in part due to longer life expectancy.

During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” anchor Shannon Bream asked Kennedy if he thinks there should be “conversations” in Congress about changing the retirement age and if that means changing it for people who people not yet paying into such benefits.

“Well, of course, we ought to talk about it. I mean, the life expectancy of the average American right now is about 77 years old,” Kennedy told Bream. “For people who are in their 20s, their life expectancy will probably be 85 to 90.”

“Does it really make sense to allow someone who’s in their 20s today to retire at 62? Those are kind of things that we should talk about,” Kennedy added. “There are changes in Medicare we should talk about. Let me say it again, Medicare pays much more for the same surgical procedure in a hospital as it does in a private outpatient clinic. Why?”

Kennedy also blamed President Biden for taking such discussions “off the table” and criticized the president for “demagoguing the issue” of Social Security and Medicare during his State of the Union address.

“There are a lot of things we could talk about, but President Biden has taken that issue totally off the table. He says he has fixed it in his budget and that’s nonsense,”  Kennedy added. “That’s nonsense on a stick.”

Kennedy’s remarks come as Democrats and Republicans battle over the country’s safety-net programs, such as Social Security and Medicare.

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