FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Katie Robbins, National Organizer, Healthcare NOW! firstname.lastname@example.org 330-618-6379
Donna Smith, National Nurses United email@example.com, 773-617-4493
Kay Tillow, All Unions for Single Payer-HR 676 firstname.lastname@example.org 502-636-1551
Sandy Fox, Western PA Coalition for Single Payer Health Care email@example.com 412-527-9072
Health Care Supporters Say “Hands Off Our Medicare!”
Don’t let Congress Cut Medicare: Improve It and Expand It to All
(Philadelphia, PA) — Medicare turns 45 years old on Friday, July 30th. Healthcare NOW! (HCN) and affiliate organizations have organized dozens of actions nationwide to bring attention to the birthday of Medicare and the actions of the Deficit Commission, reminding the country that “for decades, Medicare’s critics have warned of impending doom for the program but it always gets repaired. Here’s our suggested fix: eliminate the massive waste and expense caused by the private for-profit insurance companies. Put the savings into Medicare – protect it, improve it, and expand it to all from birth to death!”
Since its establishment in 1965, Medicare has been a national treasure providing coverage to 45 million people 65 and older, and people with disabilities. Medicare played a monumental role in the desegregation of hospitals and has since been an active leader in eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities. It maintains low administrative costs, allowing more money to go directly to health care and not bloated administration or advertising, which consumes one third of the health care dollar spent in the private sector.
This anniversary holds special weight because of the formation of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, aka the Deficit Commission, which is looking to recommend cuts to Medicare and Social Security as soon as this December.
“We aren’t going to be silent about threats to our most successful social insurance programs,” states Sandy Fox of the Western PA Coalition for Single Payer Health Care. “Medicare and Social Security aren’t adding to the deficit. If the Deficit Commission were serious about curbing costs, they would examine HR 676, ‘Expanded and Improved Medicare for All’, which would save hundreds of billions of dollars and provide everyone with guaranteed, quality health care.”
Katie Robbins, HCN’s National Organizer addressed the Deficit Commission at the public meeting held in June, “Since H.R. 676 was introduced in 2003, it has received tremendous support including endorsements by 582 union organizations in 49 states, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, 63 local governments which include 10 of the nation’s 30 largest cities…and the majority of nurses, patients, and physicians.” (http://www.handsoffourmedicare.org/don’t-shred-our-safety-nets/)
HCN and its supporters are urging Members of Congress and Federal Candidates to take a pledge declaring that they will protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security by taking them off the table of the Deficit Commission. The pledge also calls for a single-payer, Improved Medicare for All System (HR 676) to go back up for national discussion.
HCN has recently launched a website, Hands Off Our Medicare (www.handsoffourmedicare.org). The website aims to inform all who are interested and concerned about the activities of the Deficit Commission by providing updates and information on the Deficit Commission, as well as the campaign to preserve and protect Social Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.
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For more information on the anniversary of Medicare, visit www.healthcare-now.org