FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 30, 2018
CELEBRATING THE 53RD ANNIVERSARY OF MEDICARE AND MEDICAID
Salt Lake City, UT – Today, good government group Alliance for a Better Utah celebrated the 53rd anniversary of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Since 1965, these programs have offered high-quality care for the elderly, disabled, and disadvantaged in Utah.
646,300 Utahns are enrolled in Medicare/Medicaid, and as many as 150,000 additional Utahns could be covered if Utah decides to take full advantage of Medicaid expansion in November by voting “Yes” on Proposition 3.
“Utahns appreciate the value and impact of Medicare and Medicaid on Utahns in need,” said Chase Thomas, Better Utah policy and advocacy counsel. “Polling shows a steady majority of Utahns with various ideological backgrounds support Medicaid expansion. As such, on this anniversary we believe it is appropriate to voice appreciation for these vital programs that have helped so many Utahns, especially in light of the cuts our Congressional delegation is threatening to make.”
Under the guise of seeking “long-term structural changes,” Representatives Love, Curtis, Stewart, and Bishop, and Senators Hatch and Lee, all support steep cuts to both Medicare and Medicaid. The 2019 House Budget currently proposes $537 billion in cuts to Medicaid and $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicare over the next decade.
These proposals come after last year’s corporate and high-income tax reform giveaways which are now drastically increasing the federal deficit. Rather than scale back these enormous tax cuts or other ballooning areas of the federal budget, their priority is now scaling back these programs that have become essential to the lives of hundreds of thousands of Utahns and millions of Americans.
“It is awful that our Congressional delegation, who we sent to Washington to advocate on our behalf, is considering devastating cuts to the healthcare needs of Utahns at a time when health care costs are rising, our population is aging, and while incomes are flatlining,” Thomas said. “That adds a level of concern and caution to this year’s anniversary.
“At 53-years-old, Medicare and Medicaid should be celebrated for their incredible success in improving the quality of life for millions of Americans and the people of Utah,” Thomas continued. “They mark our nation’s commitment to the principle that no American should be denied health insurance for being too old or too poor. We call on our Congressional delegation to honor that commitment.”
Alliance for a Better Utah is a good government advocacy and watchdog organization based in Salt Lake City. The organization works to improve the lives of all Utahns by ensuring balance, transparency, and accountability in Utah politics, policy, and government. More information at www.betterutah.org.