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DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Statement on the 47th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement today recognizing the 47th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid:

“Today marks the 47th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, an important opportunity to recognize the security and dignity these programs have brought to millions of Americans during that time. But Medicare and Medicaid are far more than just programs; they are a commitment we’ve made as a nation to the core American value that we’re all in it together, and that America does better when everyone pitches in and everybody does their fair share.

“Unfortunately, Mitt Romney is marching in lockstep with Tea Party Republicans in Congress who have proposed a plan to end Medicare as we know it, turning it into a voucher program and putting the guaranteed coverage of millions of seniors at risk—to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. To make matters worse, Romney has proposed block-granting Medicaid to the states, which independent experts say would force deep cuts to the program—even shifting the cost burden of nursing home care to seniors and their families.

“President Obama, on the other hand, believes that America’s seniors deserve to receive the basic security and benefits they have earned through a lifetime of hard work. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare has been strengthened in a number of ways. It will close the prescription drug donut hole for good, and right now seniors are seeing a discount on their prescription drugs. For the first time, Medicare now covers a free annual wellness visit and free preventive care, like mammograms, colon cancer screenings and flu shots. And the Affordable Care Act added 8 years to the solvency of Medicare by cracking down on waste, fraud, and needless subsidies to insurance companies. These are just some of the examples of how President Obama is fighting every single day to defend the fundamental promise we have made to those who rely on Medicare and Medicaid to help make ends meet, and we know that he will continue working to move our country forward in a second term.”