Medicare Birthday 2017

For these long decades bill after bill has been introduced to help older citizens meet the often crushing and always rising costs of disease and crippling illness. Each time, until today, the battle has been lost. Each time the forces of compassion and justice have returned from defeat to begin the battle anew. And each time the force of increased public understanding has added to our strength.
-- President Lyndon Johnson, April 8, 1965.

US President Lyndon B Johnson signs the 1965 Medicare bill, with former President Harry Truman sitting next to him;
looking on are Lady Bird Johnson, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and Bess Truman
--US National Library of Medicine

Signing the US Medicare Act: a long political struggle

Celebrating Medicare's Birthday, 2017

                        MidValley Health Care Advocates on the march for Medicare in 2015!

                        MidValley Health Care Advocates on the march for Medicare in 2015!

On Medicare's birthday. . .where will you be??

Medicare celebrates its 52nd birthday on July 30, 2017, and it's an important date! Despite attempts and threats to make cuts to the program, it has survived. But, with a present administration that is unpredictable in nature, and a Congress determined to cut health care and safety net programs until people bleed, this year it is especially important to take to the streets, take to your local park, or someplace where people can gather publicly to celebrate Medicare and demand that no cuts be made; rather, Medicare needs to be expanded and improved so that it is available to all.

Medicare is well-poised to become the model for a single payer health care system: administrative cost estimates run from 2 to 6 percent (the ACA mandates administrative costs be kept at between 15 to 20% for private insurance); and Medicare has a good preventative record.

So we are encouraging people to celebrate; Do a lot of outreach to get big crowds. Be creative. Think colorful, fun, and attention-getting. Promote your celebration in the media. (You need press coverage to get people to notice. If you tell the representatives you invite that you invited media, they are more likely to come!) And do invite your Congressional and state representatives; ask them to address the importance of Medicare and what it has done for the 750,000 Oregonians who are Medicare recipients.

This webpage is available to post your plans; feel free to look through it for ideas! Then share with us what you are planning! Send brief descriptions and photos, if any, to Lisa Stiller, chair of the HCAO Medicaid/Medicare Advocacy Committee.

Planning for events

The HCAO Medicaid/Medicare Advocacy Committee is working with PDX Jobs with Justice to plan a celebration of Medicare's 52nd birthday on Sunday, July 30. The Advocates are envisioning a rally in Portland with speakers, near the PSU Park Blocks, and a march to the Saturday Market or the PSU Farmer’s Market.

Other communities throughout the state are invited to start planning for events in their areas. Lisa Stiller, chair of the HCAO Medicaid/Medicare Advocacy Committee, is asking for point persons in different areas who could take the lead in organizing Medicare birthday events.

Please contact Lisa Stiller with suggestions or offers to help with planning in other areas of the state.

Some ideas for Celebrating Medicare's Birthday

Create your own event and tell us about it.
Send articles and photos to Lisa Stiller, chair of the HCAO Medicaid/Medicare Advocates Committee, for sharing on this page.

Medicare Birthday Postcard


                                                                     Idea from La Grande

                                                                     Idea from La Grande

Healthcare-Now: Medicareʼs Anniversary Organizing Toolkit

Ideas and activities that advocates have used in the past to raise awareness about single-payer in their communities,
and build their local organizing campaigns to win this important issue.

Bob Wickline

Healthcare for All because healthcare is a right!
Healthcare for All - time the U.S. saw the light
that every woman, child, and man
should have healthcare in this land,
and now's the time to finally put it on the table!

Bill Moyers Essay: Everyone Should Be Entitled to Medicare

Moyers was an aide to President Johnson when he signed the bill for Medicare.

What's going on with health care in America?
Some Medicare stories:

    Martha Kuhl    Geri Field