Happy Birthday, Medicare!
July 30, 2021, marks Medicare’s 56th birthday, the federal program implemented with bipartisan support to provide health insurance to people over 65 regardless of income or medical history. When President Johnson signed the bill into law in 1965, the goal was to expand access to health coverage and move toward the goal of a single payor national health system.
Medicare has continued to evolve. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2018 there were 58,249,980 Medicare Beneficiaries in the U.S., or 18.1% of people in the U.S. Administrative costs were 1.3% of total program spending. Medicare has demonstrated that a public, universal health care insurance is superior to private insurance in every way. Although not without flaws, Medicare has been successful in achieving greater efficiency, better access to care, better financial protection, and higher patient satisfaction than private insurance,
Medicare has proven it is tremendous worth. It is time to improve and expand Medicare by enacting “Medicare for All” health insurance that covers everyone from cradle to grave. The time to influence legislative action is right given the current expansion discussions in Congress.
Consider celebrating Medicare’s 56th birthday by taking action to assure that this program, improved and expanded to cover everyone, will continue. Call or write your Congressional Representatives & Senators to ask that they support “Medicare for All” legislation.
By acting as individuals and joining coalitions, we can move closer to our goal of enacting improved Medicare for everyone.