Happy Birthday, Medicare!

On last night’s Mad Men, set in 1964, a minor character said, after bemoaning civil rights legislation, stated, “If they pass Medicare, they won’t stop until they ban personal property.”

On Twitter (search for Medicare and #MadMen), health reform opponents and supporters both loved the line, although I think the opponents didn’t get the irony. After all, despite the claims of opponents of that era, the passage of Medicare 45 years ago this weekend did not usher in communism, but rather an important program that is popular and crucial to this day.

When Health Access and numerous other organizations celebrated the 45th Anniversary of Medicare this past Saturday, we noted not just its success, but marked the big advance of earlier this year, with the passage of the Affordable Care Act–the biggest health coverage expansion since Medicare. The Affordable Care Act improves Medicare, by closing the donut hole, removing cost-sharing for preventative services, and extending the life of the program.

Above is a picture from Friday’s event (with cake!) in Sacramento, with members of Health Access, Congress of California Seniors, Older Women’s League, Lutheran Office of Public Policy, and others, including a representative from the office of Rep. Doris Matsui. Other events were held in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

I look forward to 90th birthday of Medicare, which will be the 45th anniversary of the federal Affordable Care Act, when it will be a vital part of the nation’s social contract, and we look upon some of the opponent’s claims as the scare tactics that they were.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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