Release: Thursday, July 30, 2015
Democratic Party of Georgia Celebrates 50 Years of Medicare
Atlanta, GA – Today, Democratic Party of Georgia Chair DuBose Porter issued the following statement on the 50th anniversary of Medicare.
“Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law, giving peace of mind to millions of retired Americans. As a result, people could finally enjoy their golden years without fear of losing their savings and pensions because of medical costs.
“If Republican leaders had their way, Medicare as we know it would be obliterated. A safe and secure retirement would be a distant memory. Every year—like clockwork—Republicans push to turn Medicare in to a voucher program, placing insurance companies on the honor system and leaving seniors with nothing more than a coupon.
“And here in Georgia, Nathan Deal and his party’s leaders refuse federal funds—our own tax dollars—to expand Medicaid and give hundreds of thousands of Georgians access to the preventative services and health care they deserve. Republicans are turning a blind eye to our struggling rural hospitals. The solution of Medicaid expansion is right there for the taking, but rural health systems remain in critical condition because of political games.
“As a community, we have a moral obligation to protect those who are most vulnerable and fulfill a promise made to American workers who contributed to our nation’s economy for decades. Medicare has been a success for 50 years and we must do everything possible to preserve and protect this essential safety net.”
For the past 50 years, Medicare and Medicaid have lifted countless Americans out of poverty and given millions of seniors and families the peace of mind that comes with affordable health coverage. The Affordable Care Act built on this legacy by strengthening the Medicare trust fund, keeping it solvent until 2030.
If we want Medicare and Medicaid to be around for another 50 years, we need to protect these programs from GOP presidential candidates who want to destroy them. Here’s where they stand:
- Jeb Bush said he wanted to “phase out” the Medicare program.
- Chris Christie supported the Ryan Budget which would turn Medicare into a voucher system, a move that would have cost seniors an average of $6,000 in extra out-of-pocket costs every year.
- Marco Rubio endorsed a voucher system, called for raising the retirement age, and said that earned benefit programs that provide Americans with financial security have “weakened us as a people.”
- Ted Cruz supports the Ryan plan that would turn Medicare into a voucher system.
- Scott Walker refused to expand Medicaid, a decision that could cost his state $400 million and result in84,700 fewer Wisconsinites being covered.
- Rand Paul proposed raising the retirement age for Medicare coverage and means-testing the program.
- Rick Perry said that the Ryan plan for Medicare was “a good idea.”