Sunday, July 30, 2017

Medicare and Medicaid Should be Strengthened, Not Gutted

by Gregg Chadwick

Fifty two years ago on July 30, 1965, in a groundbreaking act, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law. Both programs still stand as strong examples of the United States government at its best. Because of LBJ's vision and the thousands of health care activists that laid the groundwork before the bill became law, Medicare and Medicaid have brought high quality, affordable health care to seniors, people with disabilities and qualifying individuals.

The 1965 Medicare Act required that hospitals had to desegregate in order to get Medicare money. Medicaid, also, required the desegregation of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Both programs pushed the country forward towards a more equitable health care system. 

Instead of cutting back or repealing Medicare and Medicaid, which would give a massive tax break to the one percent, we need to build on the success story by expanding coverage and benefits. I am deeply convinced that we as a nation should make sure that every American has access to high quality, affordable health care. 

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare and Medicaid into law.
Courtesy LBJ Presidential Library

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