WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ahead of the 53rd anniversary of Medicare being signed into law on July 30, 1965, Joint Economic Committee Democrats released a report today that highlights the importance of Medicare to its beneficiaries, their families, and the economy in light of ongoing Republican attacks to cut the program. The report emphasizes that Congress should act to protect and strengthen Medicare, not undermine the program’s long history of success.
“For more than five decades, Medicare has provided affordable care and coverage to seniors, people with disabilities, and their families,” said Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ranking Member of the Joint Economic Committee. “Republican attempts to dismantle this critical program are cruel and would threaten the economic security of millions of working Americans and retirees. It is our commitment in Congress to preserve and protect Medicare and to ensure its promise for future generations.”
The report, “Medicare: Protecting Seniors and Families,” outlines the importance of senior recipients’ financial security and well-being. Without Medicare, millions of elderly individuals would be unable to afford care or medication—exposing them to high medical debt if unexpected costs arise. According to the report, Medicare also provides needed relief to the millions of Americans who financially support or provide care for an aging parent, and allows seniors who are caregivers themselves to bolster their own finances and pitch in with family finances.
The report also highlights that Medicare is important to many communities, particularly in rural areas which have older populations on average. In rural communities, the program accounts for 50 percent of hospital revenues, compared to 33 percent in other areas. Cuts to Medicare would endanger rural hospitals by decreasing paying clients or by cutting provider payments, at a time when 673 of them are vulnerable to closure.
Click here to see the report.
For more information, please contact Latoya Veal at Latoya_Veal@jec.senate.gov or 202-224-0379.