Carson Highlights 45th Anniversary of Implementation of the Medicare Program
July 1, 2011
CARSON Highlights 45th Anniversary of Implementation of the Medicare Program
Vows to Ensure Medicare Is There for Future Generations
INDIANAPOLIS – Congressman André Carson released the following statement today to mark the 45th anniversary of the implementation of Medicare. Signed into law July 30, 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson, enrollees first entered the program on July 1, 1966. Today, Medicare provides comprehensive health care coverage to 47 million Americans, including 39 million seniors and 8 million people under 65 with disabilities.
“Many people have forgotten what life was like in the United States before Medicare existed. Prior to the creation of this enormously popular program, nearly 30 percent of seniors lived below the poverty line and only 51 percent of Americans over 65 had health care coverage. Today, because of Medicare, the level of poverty among seniors has dropped to 7.5 percent.
“Despite the success of Medicare, Republicans in Congress have chosen to dismantle it in its current form in exchange for vouchers that seniors would use to buy private insurance. This plan burdens seniors with less coverage and higher costs. It also ends the promise we made to all Americans. Medicare has provided the guaranteed coverage Americans have been paying into since they started working and we must ensure it will be there for future generations.”