Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Senior Democrat on the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee, today released the below statement on the 48th anniversary of Medicare. Medicare was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 30, 1965 in Independence, Missouri. Thanks to Medicare, virtually all Americans 65 and older have health care coverage. Medicare has increased both seniors' health and economic security.
"Today, we celebrate Medicare's success in providing health care security to seniors and people with disabilities for the past 48 years. Medicare remains one of the Democrat's greatest achievements, and I will continue to fight to protect it for future generations.
"Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, significant changes have made Medicare even better for current and future beneficiaries. The ACA is closing the prescription drug coverage gap or "donut hole,' saving 6.6 million seniors more than $7 billion. Medicare beneficiaries also now have access to more life-saving preventatives services at no cost.
"I strongly reject GOP proposals to turn Medicare into a voucher system and their efforts to undermine and repeal the ACA. Instead, we should work together to strengthen Medicare, and that is why this month I introduced bipartisan legislation to fix the long-plagued Medicare doctor payment system, the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). This proposal will help continue to transform our current health care payment system from one that rewards volume to one that produces improved value through a focus on quality, patient outcomes, and efficiency. I look forward to continuing my work on this legislation, and to strengthen and protect Medicare in Congress."