Happy 47th Anniversary Medicare!
July 30, 2012 Contact: Billy Feitlinger / Nate Myszka
For Immediate Release 608-239-5384 / 715-573-5725
Happy 47th Anniversary, Medicare!
Madison – The Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans and Know Your Care Wisconsin, a non-profit health care education group, congratulated seniors on the 47th anniversary of Medicare today.
President Lyndon Johnson and Congress enacted Medicare in 1965 because private insurance did not want to cover many seniors due to their high medical costs. In fact, only half of seniors in the early 1960s had health insurance prior to Medicare’s enactment. With a current pool of 48 million seniors and disabled Americans, Medicare is able to have greater negotiating power with health care providers.
“Happy 47th anniversary, Medicare,” said Leon Burzynski, President of the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans. “Today we celebrate this great program that has kept millions of seniors healthy since 1965. Under Obamacare, Medicare has gotten even better with free preventive care and discounts for those that hit the prescription drug donut hole. We need to preserve Medicare rather than turning it into a voucher program.”
Due to Obamacare’s enactment in 2010, Medicare has added benefits. It now includes many preventive care services free of charge, drug discounts for those on Medicare Part D who hit the “donut hole” coverage gap, and has extended Medicare’s solvency. Prevention is key because preventable chronic diseases account for 75% of health care costs and 7 in 10 American deaths.
In Wisconsin, 918,344 people are Medicare enrollees. This equals 16 percent of the population, or about 1 in 6 people. In addition, 59,345 seniors who hit the Medicare Part D “donut hole” coverage gap in Wisconsin last year got discounts totaling $37.9 million.
“Medicare is one of the most important and successful programs in our history, and on its 47th anniversary, we want to remind seniors that they now have access to increased benefits due to Obamacare,” added Doug Hill, director of Know Your Care Wisconsin. “We’re pleased to be celebrating with seniors on the anniversary of this landmark law.”
The two organizations have held over 40 senior forums across Wisconsin since the beginning of this year to inform seniors about new benefits to Medicare from Obamacare. More about Obamacare and seniors can be found at: