Earlier today, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) — who serves as the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee — appeared on MNSBC to discuss upcoming budget negotiations. After being probed by the television anchor about cuts to Medicare and Social Security benefits, Wasserman Schultz said that “what we don’t need to do, I can tell you, is cut benefits”:
TAMRON HALL: How much leeway will the left give the president regarding entitlement reform? He met with union leaders yesterday. they have the president’s back at this point but where does the balance come from?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, it is going to be difficult and challenging, but anything worth doing is worth doing well and together. You know, we have shown repeatedly that when the two parties come together like Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan on Social Security reform we can add years of solvency and to medicare and do it and increase benefits like with Obamacare and we need both sides to be willing. I know the Democrats are willing. President Obama’s willing to sit down at the table. What we don’t need to do, I can tell you, is cut benefits. That’s something that I don’t think is the first thing that should be put forward. We have a lot of opportunity to continue to make reforms in medicare, make sure we build in more efficiencies to the program so we can add the years of solvency.
TAMRON HALL: What about eligibility age change?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, eligibility age change would fall in the realm of benefit cuts. We need to focus like I said first on making sure we build in more efficiencies to the program. we have been able to from Obama care make sure that with that $716 billion in savings plowed in to waste, fraud and abuse – fighting waste, fraud and abuse we have collected more than $10 billion in fraudulent medicare payments and we can make more progress in that area, as well.
One Democrat who has indicated that he would be willing to support such cuts is Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD). We’re making calls to his office to ask him to oppose these assaults on Medicare and Social Security. Click here to join this effort.