A birthday all should celebrate: Medicare is turning 50

By Anita Page
Daily Hampshire Gazette (Amherst, Mass.), Letters, July 9, 2015

July has always been my favorite month, not just because of July 4th, strawberries and corn, but because it is my birthday month. Now, it is even more special because it is the 50th anniversary of Medicare on July 30.

Medicare is a landmark federal insurance program signed into law July 30, l965, and now covers 55 million people over the age of 65 and younger persons with permanent disabilities.

My husband and I take Medicare for granted and forget what it was like for older generations. But now we know we have to protect and improve it and expand it to include all ages and become “Medicare for All,” a single-payer system. Urge your legislators to support House 1026 and Senate 579, which do just that.

Now let’s celebrate this momentous anniversary. The League of Women Voters with other health care groups is organizing events in Springfield, Holyoke, Amherst, Northampton and Greenfield on July 30. Watch for specifics in the local media and attend. You’ll make my birthday month even more special.

Anita Page resides in Amherst.