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Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Happy 40th Birthday, Medicare and Medicaid

Happy 40th Birthday, Medicare and Medicaid

July 26, 2005

This is a special week for Americans. On Saturday, July 30, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid, America’s health care program for the most vulnerable among us. Families USA has produced a Flash e-card celebrating Medicaid’s accomplishments. Please view the card and pass it on. At the end of the animation, you can take action to protect Medicaid from cuts pending in Congress.

Forty years ago this Saturday, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law—with Harry Truman at his side—an amendment to the Social Security Act creating Medicaid and Medicare. Since that day, Medicaid has provided health care for millions of people with disabilities, working families, the elderly, children, and moms-to-be. Today, Medicaid is stronger than ever, providing health care to 53 million of the most vulnerable Americans.

Despite its success, some in Congress propose cuts to Medicaid that could damage the program beyond repair. It is during these times of economic uncertainty and rising income inequality that we need to keep Medicaid strong. Along with Social Security and Medicare, Medicaid is a vital component of America’s safety net. It is the most visible sign of America’s resolve to take care of our most vulnerable citizens, regardless of income or social status. It is a concrete expression of our values—in America, no one gets left behind. On this historic week, help us celebrate and protect Medicaid:

Families USA has produced a new fact sheet, Medicaid: Four Decades of Success(PDF), along with an easy-to-print, double-sided booklet version(PDF) you can pass out during your own activities around Medicaid’s birthday. Another great site for information and materials on Medicaid -- go to Medicaid Matters, run by Community Catalyst.