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Celebrating 56 Years of Medicare & Medicaid By Working to Fulfil Its Full Promise

***Press Release***

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 30, 2021

Contact: Kate Stotesbery

202-494-4620

 

Celebrating 56 Years of Medicare & Medicaid By Working to Fulfil Its Full Promise

Washington, D.C. – Today, marks 56 years since President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Social Security Amendments of 1965, at the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, to create the Medicare and Medicaid programs that have provided health security and dignified care for our seniors and vulnerable neighbors in the decades since. To honor this legacy, U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Chair of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, shares that we must preserve and expand these programs—to fulfill their promise of health care security in America.

“Let’s not only protect Medicaid and Medicare from continual GOP assaults, but also make necessary improvements—like my Medicare Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act to ensure more comprehensive coverage, my Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act to finally rein in Big Pharma price gouging and lift the Republican-imposed ban on negotiating lower prices, and my COVER Now Act to bridge the Medicaid gap in the 13 States where Republicans continue to obstruct access to health care. These are steps that can fulfil the original promise of President Johnson’s bold initiatives,” said Congressman Doggett today.

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Photos courtesy of the LBJ Library taken at the July 30, 1965 bill signing.

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Members introduce the COVER Now Act on June 17, 2021, to empower local governments to expand Medicaid and get their uninsured residents covered.

Last month, Rep. Doggett led over 45 Democratic House Members from States which have refused to expand Medicaid coverage in introducing the Cover Outstanding Vulnerable Expansion-Eligible Residents Now (COVER Now) Act. This landmark legislation authorizes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to work directly with counties, cities, and other political subdivisions to expand Medicaid coverage. It would, for the first time, allow local leaders to help their vulnerable residents in States which have declined to accept federal resources for Medicaid expansion.

“Nearly six million Americans, primarily from communities of color, remain uninsured due to Republican ideological obstruction and indifference. Our homegrown solution, the COVER Now Act, enables willing local leaders to accept directly federal resources to achieve both the public health and financial benefits of Medicaid expansion,” said Congressman Doggett upon COVER Now’s introduction. “For many of our most disadvantaged citizens this bill offers a pathway to access a family physician, necessary medicine, and other essential coverage that thirteen States continue to deny. The COVER Now Act empowers local leaders to assure that the obstructionists at the top can no longer harm the most at-risk living at the bottom.”

This month, Rep. Doggett led more than 80 Members of Congress in introducing the Medicare Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act to expand the care Medicare provides. “This bill offers more care from Medicare responding to basic dental, hearing, and vision impairments for seniors and individuals with disabilities. It fulfills the original purpose of Medicare—to assure dignity—helping those who have difficulty seeing, hearing, or eating,” said Congressman Doggett.

This week, Rep. Doggett introduced the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act to rein in Big Pharma monopoly abuses and lower prescription drug prices for all Americans.  “No patient should be left out or left alone to suffer or die from prescription price gouging. The Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act is the comprehensive legislation Americans so urgently need to afford essential medicines,” said Congressman Doggett. “Instead of yielding to Big Pharma by greatly weakening the already modest HR 3, now is the time to strengthen it. To overcome Big Pharma’s many innovative techniques to extend their monopolies and charge monopoly prices, we need effective and comprehensive government price negotiation, not a weak proposal that protects manufacturers’ profits at the expense of patients’ pocketbooks.”

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