Medicare / Medicaid
This year marked the 53rd anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Amendments of 1965, which introduced Medicare and Medicaid into the American health care system. Medicare, the better known program, provides health insurance for Americans aged 65 and older who have worked and paid into the system. Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with low income in the United States and I will continue to fight for its expansion in Missouri. Both of these programs, as they always have, enjoy widespread public support today.
As your representative, I will always vote to support and properly fund these programs. Those that have paid into the Medicare system, as well as those currently paying into Medicare, should have a Representative who is committed to preserving this crucial program. This includes opposing any proposed age increases for Medicare beneficiaries.
Medicare and Medicaid have been indispensable parts of the American health care system for the past 50 years. Immediately after its passage, Medicare provided coverage to 19 million elderly Americans. In 1964, only half of all seniors had health insurance—a statistic that jumped to 96 percent after Medicare was implemented. In 2014, Medicare and Medicaid provided health coverage to about one-third of the U.S. population. Covering prescription drug costs is a key element to Medicare and I will always vote to allow our government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies.
The programs have evolved since their passage, shaping the way that states and the federal government provide health coverage to millions of citizens. Since the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, Medicaid enrollment has grown more than 20 percent, and Medicare has taken historic steps to lower costs and continue to improve the quality of care its participants receive. I will always fight to protect the benefits for those that need Medicare and Medicaid.
**But Medicaid expansion is an all-carrots approach. Missouri has nothing to lose and billions to gain in economic and health benefits.