In honor of the 47th anniversary of the enactment of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, Tim Kaine released the following statement:
"Today marks the 47th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, landmark programs that provide critical health care services for our parents, grandparents, and so many other members of our communities. Thanks to Medicare, older generations of Americans who would have otherwise gone without necessary health care have been given an opportunity to enjoy a stable and healthy retirement. We can and should do more to control Medicare costs by taking steps like allowing for the negotiation of prescription drug prices--a measure that could save as much as $24 billion every year. As a senator, I'll work to make changes that strengthen existing Medicare and Medicaid services to preserve the promise we have made to more than 90 million Americans.
"There are some, like my opponent, George Allen, who threaten to scale back these protections, and diminish benefits. George Allen has repeatedly praised Rep. Paul Ryan's budget, which would dramatically shift health care costs onto the shoulders of older Americans, and replace the current Medicare system with one that could leave some seniors under age 67 without any health coverage at all. His all-cuts approach would slash spending to these vital safety net programs and attempt to solve our fiscal challenges on the backs of those who can afford it least. We cannot afford to dismantle these successful programs that have provided affordable health care for generations. As senator, I will take a balanced approach to deficit reduction that will allow us to strengthen programs like Medicare and Medicaid that so many Americans rely on as we address the steep fiscal challenges facing our nation."