It was 47 years ago, July 30, 1965 that the Medicare program was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. Today, nearly 50 million Americans rely on the program for their basic health care coverage.
See Also: Medicare Turns 47: A brief history of the program from Truman to today
As of 2011, over 791,000 Arizona seniors depend on Medicare, which means that 97% of all older people in the state are enrolled in the program.
Medicare, however, is facing challenges, even as more seniors enroll and rely on it for their health care needs. It’s projected that the Medicare trust fund will be depleted by 2024, at which time the program will no longer be able to pay all promised benefits.
“Americans have been paying into Medicare all their working lives with the promise of guaranteed health coverage when they retire,” said David Mitchell, AARP Arizona State Director. “For nearly 50 years, AARP has been committed to ensuring that Medicare continues to provide beneficiaries with access to affordable, high-quality health care while improving the program’s efficiency.”
Over the last several months, AARP has been taking the debate about the future of Medicare and Social Security out from behind closed doors in Washington by hosting a national conversation about strengthening the programs. The AARP effort is called You’ve Earned a Say.
“There’s no doubt that Medicare is the foundation of health security in retirement for most older Arizonans and Americans nationwide,” added Mitchell. “As it celebrates its 47th year, we need to make sure people are engaged in this national discussion to keep it strong for future generations.”
Find more information about AARP’s You’ve Earned a Say.
You can also visit the AARP Arizona Facebook page to keep up to date on the latest events and news from Arizona AARP.