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48 Candles

By Josh Dorner

"48 Candles"

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Happy Birthday, Medicare!

800px-Lyndon_Johnson_signing_Medicare_bill,_with_Harry_Truman,_July_30,_1965

Today is the 48th anniversary of what became Title XVIII of the Social Security Act: the Medicare program.

(Today is also the 48th anniversary of Title XIV of the Social Security Act: Medicaid).

Medicare has been expanded, cut, reformed, and changed numerous times since President Johnson signed it into law in 1965. The most recent reforms came under Obamacare, which strengthened the Medicare Trust Fund, reformed payments to providers, cut hundreds of billions of dollars in wasteful subsidies to private insurance companies, and provided seniors with an array of new or improved benefits.

In particular, Obamacare is closing the notorious prescription drug donut hole and in the meantime has saved 6.6 MILLION seniors more than $7 BILLION on their prescriptions. In addition, during just the first six months of this year, more than 16.5 MILLION seniors have taken advantage of preventive care services that are now free thanks to Obamacare.

Unfortunately, Republicans opposed the creation of Medicare 48 years ago and they are doing their best to force draconian cuts to the program today and for decades to come. Just this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) proposed shifting billions in costs to seniors and businesses by raising the Medicare eligibility age and House Republicans are planning their 40th dead-end vote to repeal Obamacare.

BOTTOM LINE: Thanks in part to Obamacare, Medicare is still going strong 48 years later. And that’s definitely something worth celebrating.

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