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Jeb Bush Takes Aim at Washington Dysfunction

BOULDER, Colorado-- Jeb Bush took aim at Washington dysfunction Tuesday while unveiling an entitlement reform plan that calls for strengthening Social Security and Medicare through “honest debate” and “bipartisan solutions.”

“These programs are ticking fiscal time bombs and the status-quo isn’t sustainable,” Bush writes. “Instead of doing something about it, Washington continues to politicize the issue and kick the can down the road.”

That messaging approach based on fixing a broken Washington is a key element of the candidate’s retooled campaign strategy to emerge from weekend meetings in Houston with family, donors and advisers.

Bush’s Medicare plan mirrors previous proposals from conservatives, most notably that of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), and provides seniors premium support toward guaranteed coverage options.

In addition, the plan allows seniors to keep their health savings accounts to help cover out of pocket costs like co-pays and deductibles. Bush would also lower subsidies to wealthier seniors and address fraud and abuse in the Medicare system.

Bush’s Social Security plan is based on encouraging private saving and decreasing dependence on government. He proposes more access to private retirement plans for workers in small business and encourages workers to remain in the workforce past traditional retirement age.

“These kinds of reforms will require bipartisan support,” Bush writes. “And I propose using many of the ideas from the Simpson-Bowles Commission.”

Bush also calls for adjusting Social Security payments for higher-income workers – lowering their payments in order to increase the minimum benefit for low-income workers.

The plan received quick praise from the nonpartisan Campaign to Fix the Debt.

Today’s policy rollout went directly to supporters via a tweet and email from the governor with an encouragement to share the proposal and “set the record straight.”