Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) today released the following statement recognizing the 45th anniversary of Medicare, which was first implemented on July 1, 1966.

“For 45 years, Medicare has provided America’s seniors with guaranteed access to health insurance. Medicare is more than just a program, it’s a promise—that those who work hard and play by the rules can retire with dignity. It’s a commitment that we will not force seniors to fend for themselves in a private insurance market more concerned with profits than patients. Unfortunately, this anniversary comes at a time when House Republicans want to turn Medicare into Medican't. Their budget would replace a guarantee with a gamble, increasing health care costs for seniors and putting some at risk of having no insurance at all. I will do everything in my power to not let that happen. I am working hard to put Medicare on a fiscally sustainable path so it is available for future generations. We can start by tackling fraud and abuse which is estimated to cost taxpayers $60 billion a year. The 45th anniversary of Medicare is a moment to strengthen and protect the program, not destroy it.”