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The Daily Tar Heel
View from the Hill

Greg Brannon's Social Security and Medicare views unclear

On his website, Republican U.S. Senate candidate and Tea Party favorite Greg Brannon has a fairly typical stance on Social Security and Medicare.

“We will not abandon those individuals who have paid into these programs for much of their lives and have made decisions based on these benefits,” the site says.

The site also says there should be reforms for future generations.

But View from the Hill found that in the past, Brannon was more vocally opposed to social safety net policies.

In a May 2012 interview on the Bill Lumaye Show, Brannon was asked by a caller about Electronic Medical Records. At around the 31:25 minute mark, Brannon begins talking the government’s general role in health care. Below is a transcript of the interview.

Greg Brannon: We’re missing the point. You — I’m talking the generic “you” — in the Constitution, anyone, show me where the government should take care of your health care. I show you is a collective society where individual life is looked down upon because the collective does not care about the individual. This is disgusting that the doctor-patient relationship has government involved at all.

Caller: So should we get rid of…let me ask you a question. With that being said, so then should we get rid of Medicaid programs and should we get rid of Medicare?

Greg Brannon: My answer is “yes.” They’ve ruined the cost of medicine. If you look at Medicare and Medicaid, they were off on their approximation by how much they would cost. Medicaid by 1,700 percent. Medicare by 960 percent.”

Similarly, starting at the 6:54 mark in a 2010 Tea Party rally criticizing the Affordable Care Act, Brannon spoke about how America did not always have social safety nets before 1933, presumably a reference to the New Deal, which included Social Security.

“Before we had this system called what’s called capitalism, free trade that built America. We had 130 years of free trade, business capital, what happened? Prosperity. What happens? Charity. There were zero entitlements before 1933. Zero. What happened to the poor, the orphans, the widows? Churches. Synagogues. Families. Neighborhoods.”

Despite numerous requests for comment, Brannon’s office did not respond.

It is important to recognize Brannon’s comments were made before he became a candidate and he could have changed his opinions on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

But the other option is that Brannon could have realized that his positions could negatively affect him in the campaign.

View from the Hill is a political blog by Daily Tar Heel staff writers. Any opinion expressed in it does not represent the Daily Tar Heel. Email the blog coordinator at dthviewfromthehill@gmail.com.

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