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Congresswoman Waters Marks 50th Anniversary of the Creation of Medicare and Medicaid

July 30, 2015
Press Release
Calls on Republicans to End Attacks on Critical Health Programs

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee and Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, marked the 50th anniversary of the creation of Medicare and Medicaid.  President Lyndon Johnson signed into law legislation creating Medicare and Medicaid on July 30, 1965. 


“No two programs have changed more lives than Medicare and Medicaid since President Johnson signed them into law in 1965,” said Congresswoman Waters.  “Medicare and Medicaid save lives, help people live longer, and provide the peace of mind that comes with affordable health care that’s there when you need it.”


Medicare and Medicaid have helped to successfully reduce the poverty rate among older Americans from 28.5% in 1966 to 9% today.  They have also helped to relieve the economic burdens on millions of low-income families.  In Congresswoman Waters’ congressional district, more than 180,000 people are covered by Medicaid, and more than 81,000 people are covered by Medicare.  Together, these two programs provide essential health services to more than one third of the district’s residents.


“Access to affordable, quality health care is a fundamental American value, and Medicare and Medicaid have helped millions of Americans live with economic security and dignity,” said Congresswoman Waters.


However, the Republican Budget shifts more costs onto Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, cuts Medicaid by more than $1 trillion, and ends Medicare as we know it. 


“During a time when we need to preserve and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid, the Republican Budget moves us backward,” said Congresswoman Waters. “The Republican Budget cuts health benefits for the most vulnerable Americans, including seniors, the disabled, and low-income families.  I call on my Republican colleagues to stop the attacks on Medicare and Medicaid and protect these two critical health programs.”