Tucson, Ariz.– On the 45th anniversary of passing Medicare into law, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today highlighted the importance of the program to Southern Arizona families and the impacts the House Republican majority’s budget plan would have on the region. Medicare now covers approximately 47 million Americans – nearly half of whom earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level – including 88,000 in the Seventh Congressional District.
Fifty-six percent of Medicare recipients are women, and more than 8 million recipients are disabled Americans under the age of 65. Grijalva said those populations, as much as every other Medicare recipient, “deserve our continued support in good times and bad, especially because the private insurance market is still often driven by the bottom line rather than the best health outcomes.”
Grijalva emphasized the potential damage the House Republican budget plan would do to Southern Arizona’s Medicare population. According to an analysis by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Republican budget – the so-called “Ryan Roadmap” – would:
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) began providing Medicare beneficiaries with free preventive care benefits starting Jan. 1. Under the Republican plan, they would no longer be entitled to free preventive care or benefit from the other cost-saving provisions in the ACA.
“Medicare is one of the most successful programs in the history of American government, and we need to strengthen it as soon as possible rather than cut it to pay for millionaire tax breaks,” Grijalva said. “There’s no doubt what the American people want – the only issue is whether Congress has the political will to follow through. Medicare has helped Southern Arizona since it was created, and I’m going to make sure it keeps helping Southern Arizona as long as I’m in Congress.”