Weekly Democratic Address
July 27, 2018
Hi, my name is Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, and I represent Florida’s Seventh Congressional District in central Florida.
This upcoming Monday, July 30th, marks 53 years since President Lyndon Johnson signed into law legislation that established Medicare, one of our nation’s most life-saving programs.
The idea behind Medicare was a simple but powerful one – that a nation as great as ours has a duty to ensure that all of its citizens, including its most vulnerable – can retire with dignity, financial security, and access to high-quality and affordable medical care.
At the time Medicare was established, millions of seniors across America lacked the means to see a doctor, to get medications, or to even meet their most basic healthcare needs.
In fact, in 1965, the same year that Medicare was signed into law, only about half of all seniors over the age 65 or older had any health insurance at all.
Today, as a result of Medicare, 98 percent of all seniors over the age of 65 have access to quality health care.
As proof, my state of Florida is home to more than 4 million Medicare beneficiaries, representing about 20 percent of our total population.
Medicare, along with Social Security, allows Americans to work hard and to contribute to our nation, knowing that, in turn, their nation won’t abandon them in their retirement.
Despite these accomplishments, Republican leaders in Congress continue trying to undermine America’s commitment to its seniors.
I, along with my colleagues in the House, remain strongly committed to defending these programs because these are not entitlements – they are benefits earned through a lifetime of hard work.
It’s why we stood up to hyper-partisan attempts to impose an age tax that would have allowed insurance companies to charge older Americans up to five times more than younger people, no matter how healthy they are. And it’s why we must continue building on the progress we have made, so that every American can have access to quality, affordable health care.
In fact, Democrats have presented a proposal to lower the cost of prescription drugs and crack down on drug price gouging – and are fighting to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices and for more transparency into price hikes.
House Democrats are pushing for A Better Deal for seniors and families everywhere. Our agenda is simple: Instead of trying to slash Medicare, we’re working to lower your health care costs and prescription drug prices, to increase your pay through strong economic growth by rebuilding America, and to clean up Washington and ensure its accountable to you.
We know our job is to work for the people.
As we approach Medicare’s 53rd anniversary, we must all recommit ourselves to the ideals that helped establish this important program and dedicate ourselves to protecting and strengthening health care for all Americans, especially our seniors.