Fifty years of Medicaid and Medicare yield millions of healthier lives

August 15, 2015

Panelists discussing Medicare and Medicaid at a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services event include, from left, Andy Slavitt, acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, CHA president and chief executive officer; Dr. Steven M. Safyer, president and chief executive officer of Montefiore Health System; Nancy A. LeaMond, AARP’s chief advocacy and engagement officer; Diane Rowland, executive vice president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; and Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors.

CHA President and Chief Executive Officer Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, joined Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Andy Slavitt, and a panel of distinguished experts on July 29 in Washington, D.C., to mark the 50th anniversary of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

According to HHS, "Medicare and Medicaid have played a critical role in protecting the health and well-being of millions of families and improving our nation's economic security. These are life changing programs that keep Americans healthy." The panel discussion highlighted how Medicare and Medicaid have changed society and the ways supporters can work together to strengthen and improve health care for future generations.

Sr. Carol emphasized the number of elderly, disabled, children and families that have been lifted out of poverty, or avoided bankruptcy due to medical debt, and most importantly have been restored to a healthier quality of life thanks to these critical safety net programs, Medicare and Medicaid.

Earlier in the day at the invitation of Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate minority leader, Sr. Carol addressed the Senate Democratic Caucus on the importance of the Medicaid program. Additionally, in conjunction with the anniversaries of the government health insurance programs, CHA joined other Washington-based health organizations and health leaders, including several former secretaries of HHS, and CMS administrators and select members of Congress, in communicating to the White House and congressional leaders the value and importance of both programs.


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