Washington, D.C.– Friday, July 30, marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare currently provides health care coverage for 47 million older adults and people with disabilities, and since its inception has lifted generations of American seniors out of poverty while improving and extending the quality of their lives. Medicaid provides health care access to 60 million low-income people, extending vital services to the most vulnerable members of our society.
This year marks an especially happy birthday for Medicare, as the recently enacted Affordable Care Act makes it easier for seniors to afford doctor visits, fill prescriptions and receive free preventive screenings. The law strengthens the fiscal solvency of the Medicare trust fund and is projected to reduce the federal debt by $1.2 trillion by 2030.
Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva today hailed the success of both programs and reminded Congress of the dire need to protect them. “Now more than ever, Congress needs to be vigilant in maintaining and strengthening these landmark achievements,” Grijalva said. “Future generations deserve the same security and support that we have enjoyed since 1965.”
Before Medicare, more than half of American seniors were uninsured when their need for health care was greatest.