Let’s Wish Medicare And Medicaid A Happy Birthday By Fighting To Protect And Expand Them

Nancy Altman, President, Social Security Works
Linda Benesch, Communications Director, Social Security Works

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law. Fifty-two years later, both programs stand as shining examples of government at its best. Over the last half-century, Medicare and Medicaid have efficiently provided access to high quality, affordable health care to seniors, people with disabilities and others who qualify.

Our nation should, at long last, build on these successful programs by expanding their coverage and benefits. We should ensure that every American, from cradle to grave, has access to high quality, affordable health care as a matter of right.

Outrageously, while we fight for universal health insurance, we are in danger of losing the foothold towards the goal of universality that these two vital programs have provided. Republicans in Congress and the White House think that the best way to wish Medicare and Medicaid “happy birthday” is to kill both programs. It is clear that their recent failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act and destroy Medicaid in the process has not ended their quest to take health care away from millions of Americans so that private, for-profit insurance companies and their multi-millionaire CEOs can get even richer.

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