Today, we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Medicare, a critical lifeline for America’s seniors that is working. And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, that program will be solvent through 2030.
“Fourteen percent of Americans are over the age of 65. Thanks to Medicare, they have a high quality of life in retirement without sacrificing their standard of living or burdening their loved ones with medical bills,” said Richard Fiesta, executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “Medicare is a success story. It’s improved and strengthened families, the U.S. health care system and the lives of older Americans and the disabled. We’re encouraging our retiree members to speak out to make sure that it is preserved for future generations.”
“Current and future retirees must be wary of those politicians who are seeking radical changes that would make it harder for seniors and disabled Americans to see a doctor or fill a prescription,” said Fiesta. “Telling our stories about the difference Medicare has made in families’ lives is important.”
But, just last week, we had a new reminder that Medicare, despite it’s success, is under attack by Republicans. Here in New Hampshire, Jeb Bush admitted that he wanted to “phase out” Medicare for future seniors. He even doubled down on his position after being challenged by a frustrated senior in Gorham (video here).
Jane Lang, Vice President of the NH Alliance for Retired Americans confronted Jeb Bush at a town hall meeting in Gorham, NH shortly after he announced his plans to “phase out Medicare.”
After the event, Lang and the NH Alliance for Retired Americans posted a statement:
“Medicare was created 50 years ago this month to ensure that older Americans, who are most in need of health care services, would not have to choose between a hospital stay and keeping a roof over their head.”
“Since then, all Americans have contributed to Medicare with the assumption that it would be there for them when they reached retirement age.”
“We will fight against any attempt to take away our earned health care benefits and make sure that older Americans know who is on our side, and who is not.”
Jeb Bush isn’t the only Republican that wants to end Medicare as we know it. Several, including Kelly Ayotte, tried to pass the Ryan budget, which would end the program as we know it, while at the same time increasing out-of-pocket costs for seniors.
Ayotte has voted three times for the Ryan Budget that would turn Medicare into a voucher program, which could rob over 450,000 seniors and soon-to-be seniors across New Hampshire of the benefits they’ve rightfully earned. [Vote 46, 3/21/13; Vote 98, 5/16/12; Vote 77, 5/25/11]
Every GOP presidential candidate wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has helped to strengthen Medicare’s solvency for the future, while also saving seniors billions in prescription drug costs.
“As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Medicare as a successful program that hundreds of thousands of Granite Staters rely on for health care, it’s important to see what the Republican nominees for President have in store. Jeb Bush’s comments last week just adds another chapter to the long book of Republicans trying to destroy Medicare or turn it over to corporations. Nearly the entire Republican field supported Paul Ryan’s efforts to end Medicare as we know it. New Hampshire simply can’t afford Jeb Bush’s ideas to phase out Medicare,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley.