NEW: Cicilline Says Budget Problems can be Addressed without Cutting Medicare
Monday, July 30, 2012
U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline today reiterated his commitment to protecting the long-term solvency of Medicare and Medicaid.
“The fight to maintain this promise and provide our seniors with the benefits they earned remains as important today as it was almost five decades ago,” said Cicilline. “Growing up, I saw firsthand how important these programs were to ensuring that my grandparents were able to live with dignity in their retirement years, and I will continue to support these programs during my time in Congress.”
Cicilline, who will visit with seniors at City View Manor in East Providence later today, has consistently stood up to protect Medicare and Medicaid in Congress. This past March, Congressman Cicilline opposed the Ryan Budget plan, which would end the Medicare guarantee as we know it and slash $800 billion from Medicaid over ten years.
Instead of supporting a reckless plan that would replace the Medicare guarantee with a voucher system, Cicilline has fought to strengthen and protect Medicare for 48 million Americans who are able to access comprehensive health coverage thanks to the program. Cicilline supports implementation of provisions of the Affordable Care Act that would strengthen the solvency of Medicare and improve benefits in part by cracking down on waste, fraud, and abuse.
“In my visits with seniors from across our state, I have constantly been reminded of the need to preserve and protect Medicare for years to come,” added Cicilline. “I believe strongly that we can responsibly address the nation’s budget challenges without breaking the promises we made to our seniors almost a half-century ago.”
In 1964, before Medicare, only 51 percent of Americans age 65 and older had health care coverage. The Medicare and Medicaid programs were signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson 47 years ago, on July 30, 1965 and have been improving the health and lives of Americans for over four decades. Since then, Congress has made changes to Medicare that provide incentives to improve the quality and efficiency of care and enhance certain benefits. Today, virtually all Americans age 65 and older have health care coverage.