On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson traveled to the Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri, to sign Medicare into law. He traveled to Missouri because he wanted to acknowledge President Truman’s then-unprecedented proposal for a national health program in 1945.
It’s been 51 years since that day, and Medicare has lived up to its mission of providing health security for seniors. When President Johnson passed Medicare, health care access for seniors was at crisis levels. Since this social insurance program became a reality, the number of seniors with no access to health care has plummeted while life expectancy and quality of life has skyrocketed.
Today, access to health care for far too many Americans is abysmal again. Of all seniors who go bankrupt, 25 percent go bankrupt because of medical bills. Right now in America, 1 in 6 mothers is uninsured, along with 4.5 million children and 7.7 million young adults.
The problem is particularly visible here in Colorado. We have more than 350,000 uninsured residents and more than 700,000 others who are underinsured-that’s more than 1 million Coloradans who don’t have adequate health care coverage! And thanks to a unilateral rate increase by our state’s four largest insurers, nearly 100,000 more residents will be forced to look for new coverage this year.
Our health care status quo is broken. Fortunately, Coloradans have a chance to establish a new way, which can serve as a model for all 50 states. Read what Amendment 69 supporter Noam Chomsky had to say:
The US health care system has about twice the per capita spending of other developed societies and relatively poor outcomes. There is ample evidence that this unfortunate state of affairs is related to the fact that the US is alone among these societies in lacking some form of universal health care. Furthermore, polls have shown for years that much of the population, sometimes a large majority, favor a universal health care system of the kind found elsewhere.
Quite often, significant progress has been initiated at the state level, then extending beyond. For such reasons the ColoradoCare initiative is very much to be welcomed. It will not only be of great benefit to the people of Colorado, but may also be an opening wedge to substantial progress for the country as a whole.
It’s time to show our country a better way-we can make Colorado a model by fixing our health care system. Join our campaign to pass Amendment 69 and establish ColoradoCare, a “Medicare-for-All” style system that works for everyone, not just a privileged few.