The Deficit Commission and Cuts to Medicare, Social Security

This year, Medicare turns 45, and maintaining this important federal program and protecting it from those who want to cut it is more important than ever. Because of recent economic and natural catastrophes, many people in this country are finding their quality of life slipping to standards lower than before the 1990s. Despite this, our nation’s most popular social programs are on the chopping block.

Healthcare-NOW! hosted it’s standing activist conference call on Sunday, June 6th and featured National Nurses United‘s legislative advocate, Michele Evermore, who discussed the “deficit commission” appointed by President Obama that is considering just how to cut Medicare and Social Security by the end of the year.

Listen to Michele Evermore and single-payer activists across the country discuss the strategy to challenge these cuts.


Or download an MP3 file of the call here.


  1. Absuridty on June 8, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Obama is a Republican in sheep’s clothing. He’s done more bending over for the Republican party than any President I’ve ever seen. It’s almost as if he’s spineless to stand up to them. The entire health care debate was bungled.

    This is the point we should be talking about what would’ve happened with hard numbers to the Social Security program if it had been privatized and given to Wall Street. Ask any one that has/had a 401k and now has nothing. The 401k was the first step towards privatizing all the social programs and eliminating the cost from businesses. Businesses that use to give the entire amount of a pension jumped on the 401k because they didn’t have to even offer a match. Most did as an impetus to get people to feel like they could make more in a 401k than a pension so they offered a quarter for each dollar an employee contributed or some similar number but nothing near what they were paying for pensions and management of those pensions.

    • Eliza on July 2, 2010 at 12:34 am

      anyone who roots for the White Sox is a Republican and the Democratic team is the Cubs the underdogs ! I called Obama’s Sprinfield office when he first said he was running I asked the secretary about how Obama stood on Universal HC she argued with me and said we wont get Universal HC until he leaves office the end of his term …maybe it’s his present to us on his way out ? But many innocent people are going to die waiting for HC .I voted for Barack Obama for 2 reasons only Universal HC and ending the war and not all this freaking Afganistan Bullshit and more innocent people dying for oil .Its been over 30 yrs since President cater tried to start us to get off of solar and Reagn put the Solar in the dumpster behind the White House because he was not for We the People and this president isnt either .The day this bulloney HC passed Obama gave Israel $210 million and China $120 million to build the USA Wind Power ? Something is very screwed up in DC they dont have their Priorities straight .They act like a bunch of spoiled children who know nothing .

  2. Dee Ann Royce on June 8, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    First of all thank you for what you are doing for us! Also don’t forget that they have unpaid IOUs from AT LEAST 3 previous occasions when funds were taken from OUR SS $ and these IOUS have NEVER been called in! Where are the MEDIA AND ALTERNET MEDIA PEOPLE ON REPORTING ON THIS?

    • Eugene Wine on June 12, 2010 at 3:38 pm

      Excellent point about the unpaid SS $! We need to paste the commission to the wall on these time after time.

  3. Ronald Christensen on June 8, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Of course, the deficit commission is a sneaky way for politicians (Congress and the President, etc.) to give people the shaft while pretending they have nothing to do with it (look, ma, no hands!). There has to be a clever, ongoing campaign against this unelected bunch of mostly elite individuals long before their
    report is published. Make it known to the general public that these people (who aren’t in the same boat as ordinary folks) are hell-bent to come up with something against the average citizen. Point out that Wall Streeter Pete Peterson is the prime force behind this and that he’s been trying for a long, long time to hurt anybody who doesn’t have a billion dollars. Use Class Warfare.

  4. Nancy on June 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Let us make this President Obama LAST YEAR IN OFFICE! If the Social Security and Medicare fund were not used as a “general fund,” there would be no issues of shortage. The democratic’s, voted years ago to have it set up as a general fund and every president since has robbed the surplus amounts to finance their own agenda. Let us not forget congress that uses it for their pork barrel projects to buy votes.

    Here are my suggestions:

    1. Put “ALL” government employees into the Social Security/Medicare program.

    2. Make the rich pay a 100% into Social Security/Medicare.

    3. Remove all “anchor baby” recipients (illegal immigrant parents) from Social Security.

    4. Create a bill that protects by Social Security/Medicare from pilfering by our government.

    End of story about a government against the people and for greedy corporate entities!

    • Eliza on July 6, 2010 at 3:54 pm

      Yeas Obama’s Last Yr One Term President ! Obama was on David Letterman and the whole show was about Universal HC and “they” took it off the archives ! How do you like that ? I will not vote Obama the second time I am voting for Alan Grayson and thats a fact !I hope and pray President Grayson ask’s Kucinich to be his Vice . : )

  5. Stephen Baird on June 10, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    It’s too early to get loud about this. Something has to be done about preserving Social Security and reducing the deficit spending on Medicare.
    I am sympathetic. I was for single-payer, have formed a MoveOn council in Texas, and our group fought tooth and nail with conservatives here to get the best health care reform bill possible. We only partly succeeded but the effort and heart was there.
    However, there are ways to ‘cut’ social security that are reasonable.
    Believe it or not, 1/2 of George W. Bush’s initial proposals for fixing the Social Security shortfall was very good – NOT the part about private accounts. The idea was to change the formula for FUTURE recepients of Social Security so that, for the same work history, they would get the SAME purchasing power when entering the system in the FUTURE, in future dollars, that people entering the system today have. This takes care of the vast majority of the financial shortfall. What is wrong with our children and grandchildren receiving equal benefits to what we have today? After the initial payments, the payments would increase with the cost of living index just as they do now. Nothing wrong with this. With the current formula, our children and grandchildren receive much MORE that we do today -and that is not practical, given the fact that the ratio of workers to retired workers continues to increase.
    The other change that is obvious is to raise the ceiling under which social security taxes are collected.
    For Medicare, the key elements are 1) eliminate the bad formula for establishing doctor’s fees that was set in 1999 and pay for it with an increase in our Medicare Part B premiums. Yes, it affects me as I am on Medicare but I want to be able to find a doctor who will see me.
    2) Get rid of the fraud that we have in Medicare and Medicaid today. Not enough effort is being put on this. It shouldn’t be that hard to solve and it is costing us more than 10% of the total yearly payments of Medicare and Medicaid to providers. The health care reform bill already took care of the overpayments to the Advantage providers.
    3) Give Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies.

    We can campaign for the above and more but we should not go off like headless chickens until there is something specific to complain about.
    Check out this link for many different proposals to make social security solvent.

  6. Anne George on September 8, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I made the phone call per this recent email. An operator did answer the phone and took down my comment. I only had to wait about a minute on hold.

    “…The bottom line: this Commission was created by Executive Order from the
    White House, and it will take an Executive Order to disband it before it
    destroys our social insurance programs.
    *Join Healthcare-NOW! by telling President Obama that the Deficit Commission
    must go!* Call the White House (*202-456-1414*) and say, “Disband the
    Deficit Commission. Co-Chairs Simpson and Bowles along with Commission
    member David Cote are not qualified to improve Medicare, Medicaid, and
    Social Security. Instead, they want to threaten these programs with cuts and
    privatization. I say disband the Deficit Commission and expand Medicare to

    Thank you for all the work you are doing.