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Happy 50th to Medicare, which has saved an untold number of lives

Medicare’s 50th anniversary, July 30, is just around the corner. Happy birthday, dear Medicare! You’ve given seniors and younger people with permanent disabilities the medical care and financial security they otherwise would never have known. You’ve saved an untold number of lives. And you cut elder poverty in half within 10 years of being implemented.

I know, 50 is not that old, but your tender loving care has gone a long way. We need to protect you against ongoing privatization. We need to smooth out some of your wrinkles (by eliminating your premiums, co-pays, and deductibles), keep all providers in your network, and give you permission to negotiate down exorbitant drug prices. And last but not least, we need to send a Medicare card to everyone under age 65, so that all Americans may enjoy health security without fear of medical bankruptcy.

You’ve shown us what works. Now let’s build on that!

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