Clyburn Statement on the Anniversary of Medicare

Jul 1, 2011 Issues: Health

WASHINGTON, DC—Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn today issued the following statement on the 45th Anniversary of Medicare:

"Tomorrow we will commemorate the 45th anniversary of Medicare, which is very fitting as we begin a weekend of celebrating the anniversary of our nation’s independence.   July 1, 1966, was a day of freedom for many of our nation’s seniors and disabled.  The initiation of Medicare meant that many senior citizens and disabled Americans were free to access the health care they needed and deserved without fear of financial ruin.  The implementation of this single-payer health care plan has enhanced the quality of life and extended life expectancy of senior citizens in our country. 

"Today, Medicare faces a serious challenge.  The United States House of Representatives has passed legislation that would turn this guaranteed health care benefit for our most vulnerable citizens into a voucher program.  The end result is that seniors and the disabled would pay an estimated $6,000 more per person out of pocket for the benefits they currently receive. 

"Medicare is a contract America made with our seniors 45 years ago, and it is one that must be protected.  Democrats are committed to preserving Medicare and ensuring that this health care program remains secure for future generations."