Rep. Laura Richardson recognizes Medicare anniversary
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Laura Richardson recently issued a statement recognizing the 47th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare on July 30. On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law.
“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 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 Richardson. “Over the last 47 years, Medicare has become a vital lifeline for generations of seniors, and it should be protected at all costs.”
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, it is 78.5 years old .
Medicare provides comprehensive health care coverage to 48 million Americans, including 40 million seniors and eight million people under 65 with disabilities.
Medicare is also 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.