Press Release             

Contact: Nathan Heggem

July 29, 2010

Statement by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker on the 45th Anniversary of the Establishment of Medicare

New York, NY—On July 30, 2010, we celebrate 45 years of the Medicare program. In 1964, a year before Medicare was established, almost half of older Americans did not have health insurance, and only a quarter were estimated to have adequate hospital insurance coverage. Now, in 2010, Medicare provides health coverage to over 47 million older Americans and people with disabilities.

The Medicare Rights Center hears every day from people who rely on Medicare for their own well-being or for the well-being of a loved one, and every day we are reminded that Medicare is a source of both health and financial security. It is these calls and conversations with Medicare consumers that drive all of us at the Medicare Rights Center to work toward preserving—and improving—this valuable public program. The health reform law that passed in March is designed to do both, and we will continue to advocate diligently on behalf of Medicare consumers to ensure that Medicare remains strong for future generations as the law is implemented in the months and years ahead. Medicare will evolve, but all changes must put consumers first and reflect the basic tenets of the original program: to provide quality and affordable healthcare to people who have made immeasurable contributions to our society.

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.


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