It seems Social Security is always in some grave danger and Medicare isn't too far behind. So it was during this Face The Nation episode from August 21, 1983 featuring HHS Secretary Margaret Heckler where she explains her take on the Social Security/Medicare crisis of 1983.
Margaret Heckler: “I think the Social Security crisis was a subject of more doom and gloom in the political rhetoric than probably any other issue ever discussed. What we learned that, despite that doom and gloom, that Social Security did survive. And I would say that, at this point, Medicare is as important a fixture in our statute books as any program yet devised. I do think there are problems. There has to be a bi-partisan solution to the problem, but yes I would reassure people that the Medicare program will survive to meet the needs of the elderly in the future as it has the last twenty years, in the sense that the program is important, it will be restructured with a bi-partisan debate but it will survive.”
Considered part of that extinct breed of Republican known as a Moderate, and according to some reports, Heckler had a rather stormy relationship with the Reagan White House, one which eventually lead to her being "promoted" to Ambassador to Ireland in 1985.
But during her tenure Heckler was not only faced with yet another crisis with Social Security and Medicare, she was also faced with the onset of AIDS which, by her own admission, took HHS by surprise and would become something of a political football in the process.
Another chapter of the Reagan years.