Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law. Together, they cover nearly one out of every three Americans – that’s more than 100 million people.
The Affordable Care Act has continued to open up the doors of care to millions more. However, leaders in 19 states have refused to expand Medicaid leaving nearly four million people without access to care. We have not forgotten about them.
Today, we delivered signatures from physicians and medical students across the country urging these governors to put down their partisan opposition and close the coverage gap. Our message: no matter how long it takes, we will stand up and speak out until everyone is covered.
Since Doctors for America began, we have fought to make sure our patients have access to the care they need.
When Congress threatened to cut billions of dollars from Medicaid in 2011, thousands of us spoke up to keep the program going. When the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that states had the option of whether to expand Medicaid, we worked together to tell state leaders that it is not acceptable for people to die for lack of care when the federal funds are already there and available to give them the care they need.
Like any program, Medicaid has its strengths and weaknesses, but it is working and remains a lifeline to care for millions of women, children and families. That is why we will not be silent until it is expanded in every state and strengthened for all.
Today, let's celebrate 50 years of progress through Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, the Affordable Care Act, and the hard work you put into making sure the most vulnerable among us have the resources they need to live a healthy life. Post on Facebook, have a celebratory dinner, put up a sign, visit a senior center, or simply take a moment to appreciate how far we've come as a Nation in the past 50 years.
Let us redouble our efforts to make sure everyone in America has access to affordable, high-quality health care and the foundational resources they need to live a healthy life.