Debt Ceiling Deal Threatens Medicare, Medicaid

With a decision finally reached this afternoon on the debt ceiling, both the President and Congress have put Wall Street and the wealthy in front of the needs of their constituents. Our most important social insurance programs are squarely on the chopping block. The spending cuts will only exacerbate the economic crisis and people’s suffering.

This process has made us deeply angry and frustrated.

But there is one thing we have been able to count on: you.

As the debt ceiling debate unfolded, you used your frustration to fuel the fight against injustice. You jammed phone lines and flooded inboxes on the Hill, filled waiting rooms in your Representative’s and Senators’ offices and inundated local newspapers with op-eds and letters to the Editor to demand our social insurance programs be protected.

And you rallied behind our call to use Medicare’s 46th anniversary as a way to highlight improved Medicare-for-all as the solution to our fiscal crisis.

Because of you, there were over 45 birthday parties, demonstrations at Congressional offices and public meetings in 23 different states–more than twice as many events as last year.

Because of your dedication to equitably funded and distributed single-payer healthcare for all, you reminded us that there is still hope–that there are still people who care about our families and communities, and will fight to protect them

The deal leaves many changes to Medicare and Medicaid up in the air, and that means we need to keep working together to fight these threats [1]. We need you to keep organizing, keep educating and keep advocating for improved Medicare-for-all.

You can be more involved today. Go here to find local chapters of Healthcare-NOW! or one of our affiliate organizations near you. Need support for your chapter, or help getting organized in your community? Write to for more information.

Now is the time to continue build our skills and our network, so we can build a movement to win.

[1] The deal agreed on by Congress includes the creation of a new joint Congressional committee to find cuts roughly matching the $2.1 trillion increase in the debt limit. If the evenly divided committee failed to agree on a plan, Congress would either have to approve a balanced budget agreement to the Constitution or accept an across-the-board cut in spending in line.

1 Comment

  1. John Barker on August 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I clicked on “Go here to find local chapters of Healthcare Now” and then for Wisconsin. I see web links promoting private health insurance plans which I can hardly associate with my perceived mission of Healthcare Now or to locating a chapter of Healthcare Now in Wisconsin. What is going on here?