FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2011
AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560
AARP Celebrates Medicare’s 46th Birthday
Program remains vital link to health care for millions of older Americans
WASHINGTON—AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond released this statement on Medicare’s 46th birthday:
“On July 30, 1965, President Johnson signed Medicare into law, enrolled former President Truman as its first beneficiary and presented him with the first Medicare card.
“Since then, millions of seniors have paid into Medicare and benefited from the vital health services it provides. And over those forty-six years, while Medicare has changed, it has continued to provide vital health security to older Americans and their families. Medicare has also been improved, and it now provides free preventive services and helps people with their prescription drugs. With more Baby Boomers continuing to enter the system every day, preserving this bedrock program is more important than ever.
“Sadly, some in Congress are using the current deficit debate to introduce cuts to Medicare as a solution to our nation’s fiscal challenges. Our nation’s focus should be on reforming our broken heath care system and tackling high healthcare costs, not on cutting benefits and shifting higher costs to seniors. We need to improve health care delivery and strengthen Medicare, but we won’t be able to do that if Congress makes harmful cuts that hurt beneficiaries as part of the debt ceiling debate.”
“AARP has fought for years to protect and strengthen Medicare, and it is our aim to make sure we protect this program for current and future beneficiaries. We’ll continue to fight to ensure that Congress honors the commitment of health security to our members and all older Americans.”
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