by Bill Whitaker and Cheryl Simpson
With all the commotion in the courts about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it would be easy to overlook an important birthday. July 30 is the 49th anniversary of the public health insurance program that covers our nation's seniors and people with severe disabilities. It's a birthday to be celebrated by all of us!
Medicare became law in 1965 under President Lyndon B. Johnson. Before Medicare, the elderly faced poverty, fear of being stricken by costly illness, and dependency on family or charity despite working for many years. We all know that Medicare coverage is a resource we count on for our grandparents, parents, and ourselves as we near the magic age of 65. What a life-saver Medicare has been! Today Medicare is the nation's most popular social program.
Medicare offers 49 years of living proof that public, universal health coverage is superior to private insurance in every way. Medicare is more efficient than private health insurance, its costs have risen more slowly, and yet it provides better access to care, better financial protection, and higher patient satisfaction. Medicare has had the single greatest impact in our country’s history in reducing racial inequities in health care.Read More