DNC Chair Statement on the 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

Washington, DC – DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement on the 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid:

“Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. For half a century, these programs have existed as a sacred promise between America and its people: that if you work hard and play by the rules, they will be there for you when you need it. Prior to their creations, too many seniors had no reliable health care and medical costs bankrupted too many hard-working families.

“In recent years, the Affordable Care Act has helped us to better fulfill the goals of Medicare and Medicaid. The cost-saving measures introduced have extended the life of the Medicare trust fund. More than sixteen million Americans have gained access to quality, affordable health care, and it would be millions more if more Republican governors would finally accept the law’s Medicaid expansion.

“Despite the undeniable success of Medicare and Medicaid, their continued existence is in jeopardy. Just recently, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush expressed his desire to “phase out” the Medicare program. Marco Rubio’s so-called “New American Century” would undo the progress of the last, by turning Medicare into a voucher system. And Republicans running for President in 2016 have endorsed a plan to end Medicare as we know it.

“Medicare and Medicaid are promises that America must keep. Democrats are committed to fulfilling these promises, and strengthening them for generations to come.”