Congresswoman Lee Highlights 48th Anniversary of Medicare

July 30, 2013
Contact: Carrie Adams (202) 225-2661

Notes that The Affordable Care Act Has Improved Medicare,
Including Providing Nearly $574 Million in Rx Drug Savings for Seniors in California  

Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee marked the 48th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare.  President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law on July 30, 1965.

“Today, we celebrate the tremendous success of Medicare in providing seniors and people with disabilities with health care security.  Medicare is one of the proudest achievements of the Democratic Party, as it has transformed the lives of seniors for generations.  Democrats will continue to work to strengthen Medicare and ensure that it remains a bedrock promise for future generations,” said Congresswoman Lee.

This spring, Republicans once again passed a House GOP budget that ends Medicare as we know it and turns this sacred initiative into a privatized voucher plan, increasing future health costs for seniors by thousands of dollars. 

“On the 48th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare, I will stand with our seniors and recommit to rejecting plans that will end Medicare as we know it and increase costs. On Medicare’s 48th birthday, we need to expand and protect Medicare by adopting single-payer health care reforms,” said Congresswoman Lee. 

“Democrats have also been working to strengthen and expand Medicare,” Congresswoman Lee said.  “The Affordable Care Act contains several provisions to improve Medicare and strengthen its solvency.  The Act extends the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by nearly a decade.” 

Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, people with Medicare in California have saved nearly $574 million on prescription drugs.  In 2012 alone, 299,896 individuals in California saved $183 million, or an average of $609 per enrollee.  In addition, in 2012 alone, 2.15 million individuals in California with traditional Medicare achieved savings by using one or more free preventive services.

“As we celebrate the anniversary of Medicare, I am determined to continue to strengthen and enhance Medicare,” Congresswoman Lee concluded.  “Over the last 48 years, Democrats have fought vigorously to enact Medicare, protect Medicare, and strengthen Medicare and we will not stop.”


Follow Barbara Lee on Facebook and Twitter at @RepBarbaraLee. To learn more, visit lee.house.gov.

Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the newly formed Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.