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Congresswoman Richardson Highlights 47th Anniversary of Medicare Being Signed into Law
Cites Enormous Success of Medicare and Vows to Ensure Medicare Is There for Future Generations
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Laura Richardson issued a statement recognizing the 47th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare that will take place July 30th. President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law on July 30th, 1965.
“July 30th, we will celebrate the tremendous success of Medicare in providing seniors and people with disabilities with health care security. Medicare is one of the proudest achievements of the Democratic Party, as it has transformed the lives of seniors for generations. Democrats will continue to work to strengthen Medicare and ensure that it remains a bedrock promise for future generations,” said Congresswoman Laura Richardson.
In 2011 and 2012, House Republicans passed budgets that would turn Medicare into a voucher program. Under their plan, the voucher would not grow as fast as health care costs, shifting the financial burden onto seniors. It would repeal the free preventive services benefit in Medicare, increasing seniors’ out-of-pocket costs for preventive care by more than $110 million in 2012 alone.
“On the 47th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare, I will stand with the 4.8 million Medicare beneficiaries in California and recommit to rejecting plans that will end Medicare as we know it and increase costs,” said Congresswoman Richardson. “Over the last 47 years, Medicare has become a vital lifeline for generations of seniors, and it should be protected at all costs,” said Congresswoman Laura Richardson.
Background on Success of Medicare:
In 1964, only 51 percent of Americans over 65 had health care coverage; today, coverage is virtually universal, and as a result, seniors’ health care and economic security have greatly increased. Furthermore, in 1964, life expectancy for Americans was only 70.2 years old. Today, life expectancy is 78.5 years old.
Today, Medicare provides comprehensive health care coverage to 48 million Americans, including 40 million seniors and 8 million people under 65 with disabilities. Medicare is also enormously popular with seniors and people with disabilities – with Medicare beneficiaries more satisfied with their coverage than Americans with private insurance. Medicare provides a guaranteed set of benefits and affordable premiums.
In addition, the Affordable Care Act, enacted in 2010, extended Medicare’s solvency and improved its benefits. Specifically, the Affordable Care Act extended the solvency of Medicare by eight years, through 2024. It also reduced the costs of prescription drugs for seniors in the Medicare Rx drug ‘donut hole’ coverage gap and provided seniors free coverage for key preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies and a free Annual Wellness Visit.