Van Hollen Statement on the 47th Anniversary of the Enactment of Medicare
Washington, DC – Today Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee released the following statement recognizing the 47th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare:
“Forty-seven years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Medicare program into law. At its inception, Medicare served over 19 million beneficiaries. Today, Medicare provides an estimated 50 million elderly and disabled Americans with access to quality, affordable health care services. But despite this program's success, it is under attack from Congressional Republicans who want to end the Medicare guarantee.
“Democrats understand that rising health care costs present a challenge that we must address in order to put our country on a sustainable fiscal path. We have already taken steps to preserve, protect, and strengthen the Medicare system as part of a comprehensive reform plan to improve health care for all Americans. The Affordable Care Act took strong and immediate steps to put Medicare on a more sustainable footing. It also included nearly every cost-containment provision experts recommended and begins to shift Medicare toward a system where doctors and hospitals are rewarded for the quality of care that they provide, rather than quantity. This improves the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries and lowers the cost for taxpayers. Unfortunately, House Republicans have voted to repeal these important measures more than 30 times.
“As we celebrate the 47th anniversary of Medicare's enactment, Democrats are still fighting to preserve the promise that we have made to millions of seniors. I hope our Republican colleagues will change course and join us in that effort.”