Pelosi on 45th Anniversary of Medicare: ‘Democrats Will Stand with Seniors to Protect and Strengthen Medicare’

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today to mark the 45th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid being signed into law.  To mark the anniversary, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a new ad featuring Andy Griffith discussing the Affordable Care Act:

“In enacting health insurance reform this year, Democrats in Congress and President Obama followed in the footsteps of the architects of Medicare and strengthened this critical initiative for our country’s seniors.  The law secures guaranteed benefits under Medicare, and closes the prescription drug ‘donut hole,’ beginning with $250 checks being sent to beneficiaries this year.  Our reforms eliminate co-pays for preventive screenings and provide better-coordinated care among different doctors and health care providers.  And we have extended the solvency of Medicare by more than a decade.

“Forty-five years ago today, Democrats and Republicans came together to create Medicare and Medicaid.  Unfortunately, that bipartisan tradition has now been lost, as Congressional Republicans not only oppose improvements to our seniors’ health care system, but pledge to repeal them and end Medicare as we know it – leaving seniors on their own to negotiate with insurance companies for coverage.  Democrats will not let this happen.  We will stand with America’s seniors to protect and strengthen Medicare now and in the future.

“When President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law in 1965, our nation made a bedrock promise to seniors then and for generations to follow: that after a lifetime of work, Americans could count on the stability and security of reliable, dependable, high-quality health insurance.  And by passing Medicaid, we worked to ensure that no American family could be denied medical care due to a lack of means or income.

“Today, the New Direction Congress continues to uphold, extend, and strengthen this same legacy, reaffirming our pledge to promote the general welfare, serve the common good, and preserve the health and well-being of the American people.”