CONGRESSMAN LIEU STATEMENT ON THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF MEDICARE
“I celebrate the anniversary honoring some of the most important programs America has ever created – Medicare and Medicaid. With their landmark passage in 1965, our country firmly took the position that the most vulnerable in our society should not live in poverty because of a lack of health insurance.
“Before Medicare, seniors were the most likely group to be in poverty, with almost 30 percent of seniors living below the poverty line. Today, less than 1 in 10 seniors live below the poverty line (still too high but much better than before Medicare) and almost all seniors have health coverage.
“We must not stop here. Today, 11.4 percent of American adults are still without healthcare coverage, and children are now the group most likely to be living in poverty. Every American, regardless of age or income, should have access to health insurance. Let this important anniversary remind us of the progress we have made, and be a wakeup call for the unfinished work we have yet to do.
“Finally, my parents depend on Medicare. There is no way I would ever eliminate this program. In fact, we need to expand Medicare and Medicaid.”