Fifty-five years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law — landmark programs that expanded the American social contract and reaffirmed the essential humanity, decency, and dignity of our nation. In an era when far far too many children, older Americans, and people living with disabilities went without the care they needed, our country stood up to declare for all time that no one who grows old or gets sick in America, regardless of their income, should be left to face their challenges alone. In doing so, we did more than just implement new health care programs — we strengthened the character and soul of our nation.
In the years since, Medicare and Medicaid have extended lives, enhanced liberty, and put the pursuit of happiness within reach of tens of millions of Americans. They have delivered greater peace of mind and financial security to countless families, freeing them to plan their lives not around their fears, but around their dreams. And they have reminded us of the fundamental duty we all hold as Americans — the duty to care for one another.
In the midst of a devastating pandemic, we should be united in our desire to strengthen these lifesaving programs — but instead, President Trump is once again threatening to cut them. That is deeply cruel and completely unacceptable. It is our charge to further the underlying promise of Medicare and Medicaid by ensuring that health care is a right for all Americans — that every single one of us can enjoy the peace of mind that quality, affordable health coverage brings. If I have the honor of becoming President, I look forward to fulfilling that promise — and to fighting to protect and expand Medicare and Medicaid for the next generation, and those to come.