Ed Augden, President of the Colorado Alliance of Retired Americans, says before Medicare was introduced, many seniors were financially ruined when they got sick or they didn’t get the right health care.
“Seniors got older, they got sick and they had to rely upon their children or they had to rely on community service agencies and it really wasn’t enough. A lot of people died early deaths because they couldn’t get the services that they needed.”
Medicare and Medicaid turn 50 on Thursday July 30th. Augden says that there are constant political threats to the programs but he says there are legislators who are committed to preserving and expanding them also. “There are at least 7 pieces of legislation that would expand social security and medicare and medicaid.”
Each state must administer and supplement Medicare, which means that seniors get more or less in the program, depending on where they live. Augden says TABOR has prevented the state from expanding the program “Colorado is probably in the middle of the pack, we’re not doing as poorly as others but we’re not doing as well as we could. We can do better. We’re hamstrung a lot by the fiscal constraints of the Tax Payer Bill of Rights.”
Ed Augden plans to deliver a birthday cake to the Denver office of Congresswoman Diana DeGettes today, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Medicare and to thank her for her support of the program.