Udall, Heinrich And Lujan Statements On 50th Anniversary Of Medicare And Medicaid

by Staff Reporter / Aug 01, 2015 / comments

Udall, Heinrich And Lujan Statements On 50th Anniversary Of Medicare And Medicaid

Staff Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This past Thursday was the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson signing Medicare and Medicaid into law July 30, 1965. The golden anniversary of these two major health coverage services is cause for reflection and celebration by many. Northern New Mexico’s member of Congress and two U.S. Senators all issued statement commemorating this anniversary. Below are excerpts from the statements from Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, Senator Tom Udall and Senator Martin Heinrich.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall released the following statement in honor of the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson signing Medicare and Medicaid into law:

"Fifty years ago today, President Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law. These landmark programs now help protect the health, well-being and financial security of more than half of New Mexico's families. They allow children, seniors and people with disabilities to see a doctor when they're sick, get medicines they need, and access preventive care that helps keep them healthy.

"Medicare and Medicaid are among the greatest public health accomplishments in our nation's history. I'll keep fighting to keep these important programs strong so they can help future generations be healthy, too." 

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich released the following statement on the anniversary:

"For 50 years Medicare and Medicaid have improved the quality of life of our seniors, people with disabilities, children, and families. It was New Mexico's very own Clinton P. Anderson, who was a principal sponsor of the original Senate Medicare bill, which led to the successful program we know today.

"Medicare and Medicaid keep our communities healthy and contribute to the well-being of those most in need. It is imperative that we continue to strengthen and improve these programs so that New Mexicans can continue to benefit from them for the next 50 years and beyond."

Congressman Ben Ray Lujan issued the following statement on the anniversary: 

“For the past 50 years, Medicare and Medicaid have provided vital health care benefits to millions of Americans, ensuring that the most vulnerable in our communities have access to the care they need.  Through these two landmark programs, seniors, the poor, and people with disabilities have the peace of mind that they will have affordable care.

 “These programs have had tremendous success, contributing to the significant decline in the poverty rate among older Americans, from 28 percent in 1966 to 9 percent today.  With one in three children in our country covered through Medicaid and 55 million Americans counting on Medicare, these programs span generations, helping ensure healthier communities throughout the country.

“With the important role Medicare and Medicaid play in the well-being of so many Americans, it is critical that we continue efforts to strengthen these programs.  As a result of the Affordable Care Act, the life of the Medicaid Trust Fund has been extended by 13 years.  We’ve rooted out waste, fraud, and abuse and reinvested those savings back in to Medicare.  The prescription drug donut hole has started to close, saving seniors money on their medication.  And Medicaid has been expanded, providing approximately 200,000 adults and 30,000 children in New Mexico with access to health care.

“As we celebrate the anniversary of these landmark programs, I will continue my efforts to protect Medicare and Medicaid from Republican efforts to privatize and slash them that put insurance companies ahead of seniors, children, and people with disabilities.  For 50 years Medicare and Medicaid have ensured access to health care for those who otherwise were at risk of going without.  From our youngest generation to the Greatest Generation, Medicare and Medicaid have been there for them.  Let us work together to ensure another 50 years.”