Sen. Carper on the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement on the 50th anniversary of President Johnson signing Medicare and Medicaid into law: 

“Fifty years ago this week, President Johnson brought us two steps closer to upholding our moral obligation to protect the least of these in our society by signing into law and establishing the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Today, Medicare provides access to comprehensive health care for 55 million seniors and disabled Americans. Medicaid provides health care and long-term care to more than 70 million low-income Americans. Over a third of all Americans now rely on these two bedrock programs for basic health protections, ensuring that seniors, parents and children no longer need to choose between a visit to the doctor and food on the table.

“In 2010, we built on the success of Medicare and Medicaid when President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. Since the ACA’s enactment, the rate of uninsured Americans is at the lowest point in the last 50 years. At the same time, health care cost growth has slowed, with Medicare costs increasing at historically low rates over the last three years even as health care outcomes have improved, with doctors and hospitals now incentivized to coordinate health care services and reduce hospital infections and unnecessary readmissions.‎

“With that being said, there is still more work to be done. While the ACA helped to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid, we must continue our efforts to reduce health care costs while improving the quality of care. On this 50th anniversary of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, we must renew our promise to preserve and protect these programs for the next generation of Americans.”