Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) released the following statement marking the 45th anniversary of the implementation of Medicare:
"Medicare has been one of our country's proudest and most successful achievements, making us a stronger and healthier nation. Before Medicare was enacted in 1965, only half of all Americans 65 and older had medical insurance. Now, more than 47 million people -- almost half of them low-income -- are covered by Medicare.
"In all my years in Congress, I have fought vigorously to protect and strengthen Medicare and ensure that all seniors and people with disabilities have access to the vital health care they need and deserve. More recently, my colleagues and I worked tirelessly alongside President Obama to ensure that the health reform legislation passed last year held insurance companies accountable and included a number of cost-saving provisions to strengthen Medicare.
"Now is not the time to cut Medicare for our seniors, health care for our veterans or Medicaid for the poor and most vulnerable. I am committed to continue fighting to preserve and strengthen Medicare and ensure that it is here for our future generations."