Medicare has changed the lives of seniors

By Congressman Pete Gallego —

July 30th marks the 48th anniversary of two programs that have had a
tremendous impact on the American public and on the quality of life of
seniors and children.

On July 30, 1965, a fellow Texan – President Lyndon B. Johnson –
signed Medicare and Medicaid into law. Believe it or not, during their
signing, these programs were seen as controversial.

At the time of the law's passage, around half our nation's seniors
didn't have health coverage. The signing of the law allowed many of our
seniors – who have contributed a lifetime to our country- to live with
the peace of mind that health coverage was available to them during
their golden years.

Today in Texas, more than three million seniors – including our
parents and our grandparents – rely on this program for crucial medical
care. Let's be clear about one thing. Medicare isn't just given. It is
earned over a lifeline.

The signing of Medicaid also created a partnership between the
federal government and states. Together, they formed a basic safety net
for the most vulnerable among us: children, the elderly, and disabled
Americans.

These include 383 children and seniors right here in Culberson County who get their health care through the Medicaid program.

Today, Medicare and Medicaid are just as vital to the long term health security of Americans as they were in 1965.

Looking ahead, we need to continue to demonstrate our commitment to
those who have built this country. We need to reform and strengthen
Medicare for future generations. We need to make sure that the doctors
who see patients covered by Medicare and Medicaid are paid adequately.
We need to make sure that the seniors and children who rely on these
programs can have access to a doctor.

Our seniors have earned this through a lifetime of work. And, we need
to make sure that children are allowed to live healthy happy lives.

Congressman Pete Gallego serves the 23rd District of Texas — the largest Congressional district in the state.