Medicare at 50: A Cost-Effective and Compassionate Model

Hosted by Rep. John Conyers, Jr., lead sponsor of H.R. 676, “The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act”

Moderated by renowned journalist Bill Moyers, and featuring:
· Rep. Donna Edwards
· Rep. Jim McDermott
· Rep. Ted Lieu
· Sen. Bernie Sanders (invited)
· Rep. Jan Schakowsky (invited)
· Wendell Potter, Health Insurance Whistleblower, Center for Public Integrity
· Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen
· Michael Lighty, Director of Public Policy, National Nurses United
· Robert Zarr, President, Physicians for a National Health Program
· Andrea Miller, Executive Director, People Demanding Action
Medicare 50th Anniversary Cupcakes by Georgetown Cupcake will be provided

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law legislation that established the Medicare program, immediately providing health insurance for 20 million Americans aged 65 and older. Before Medicare’s implementation, approximately half of all seniors lacked health insurance.
For Americans under 65, the Affordable Care Act was an important catalyst for positive change. But today, nearly 12 percent of Americans remain without health insurance, while United States continues to spend almost twice as much per person on health care as any other country. Billing and insurance-related administrative costs totaled $471 billion in 2012, with 80 percent of these costs a result of inefficiencies in our for-profit, multipayer healthcare system.

Medicare’s model may hold the answer to these challenges: Administrative costs in Medicare are only about 2 percent of operating expenditures, compared with private insurance administrative costs of 17 percent.

This panel will discuss the successes of Medicare, review the major advances – and challenges – of the Affordable Care Act, and chart a path forward towards the “Medicare for All,” single-payer system that is supported by more than half of Americans and is the standard for care in the developed world.

Medicare at 50: A Cost-Effective and Compassionate Model

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