Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement to commemorate the anniversary of the creation of Medicare and Medicaid:


 “Today marks the 49th anniversary of the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid. President Lyndon Johnson signed these critical programs into law to give low-income Americans, young people with disabilities, and everyone 65 or older access to comprehensive health care. Americans today need access to healthcare, just as they did in 1965.


 “Nearly 50 million Americans receive comprehensive health coverage through Medicare. Medicare has been a model of success at controlling health care costs and eliminating administrative waste.  It remains one of the most vital reforms in U.S. history. As Republicans continue their attacks on Medicare under the guise of saving it, we stand against any cuts that harm beneficiaries.


 “More than 1 in every 5 - or over 66 million Americans - is covered by Medicaid at some point in the year. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) further expanded Medicaid eligibility to reach millions of Americans in need.  Despite its success, Medicaid is under constant threat from those who want to cut it or privatize it. Republican governors and state legislators in 22 states are refusing to expand Medicaid to protect those most vulnerable. The Progressive Caucus remains resolute in defending Medicaid and encourages every state to accept the expansion to help the economy and people of their state.


“The best way to honor the creation of Medicare and Medicaid is to build on their success and that of the ACA by providing Medicare for All. Single-payer health care is the most efficient, humane and thoroughly tested way to provide health care.”

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