Vilvens signs with Mount St. Joseph SBAAC awards girls tennis all-stars Layman inducted into Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame SBAAC hands out awards to First Team girls’ soccer all-stars John D Marks Fourteen indicted by Brown County Grand Jury Commissioners donate to task force Voters return Worley to the bench Georgetown Police Department welcomes new officers Ruby A Ratliff Donna J Moore Stella M Glasscock Ellen L Gelter Alverda T Guillermin Justin N Beach EHS dedicates ‘Kiser Court’ SBAAC awards First Team football all-stars, winning teams Sizer earns SBAAC American Division Volleyball Player of Year honors for 3rd straight year Broncos to host Blue Jays for OHSAA ‘Jimmy Young’ Foundation Game, Nov. 17 Vern W Kidd Jr Brown County Election Results – 2017 Michael D Hines Raymond W Napier Leslie E Boyle Gary L Barber Meth makes a comeback The bomber crash of 1944 4-H holds ‘shootout’ with BCSO County jobless rate falls Russell K Wolfer SHAC recognizes volleyball all-stars SHAC cross country all-stars take home awards Eastern girls finish runner-up in SHAC golf standings Week 10 football roundup Kathleen J Bright Sister Marjean Clement Veterans Service Office Moves G’town FFA has great fair Bald Eagles spotted 2017 Celebration of Lights being planned Eight indicted by grand jury Carlos L Beck Georgetown XC teams qualify for regional championship meet Warriors advance to Div. II Regional Meet Lady Rockets reach end to successful volleyball season Week nine football roundup Lady Warriors regional bound Amy J Caudill Bertha Lindsey Bobby S Conley Body found in ditch, investigation underway Former Aberdeen Fiscal Officer pleads guilty Keeping kids safe on the school bus Mary E Hahn Gary R Cornette Week 8 football roundup Notable soccer season reaches end for G-Men Lady Broncos are SBAAC American Division XC champs SHAC XC title goes to Lady Warriors Arthur Smith Eugene M Jennings Jr Billy R Kilgore Sr Carol D Roberts Thelma L Gray Sheriff Ellis meets President Trump Quarter Auction to pay for fire engine restoration Upcoming Quarter Raffle, Oct. 14 to benefit PRC Man found dead in ditch Rev Alvin B Woodruff Jackson L Russell Lady Broncos bring home 11th SBAAC American Division title in 12 years Lady Rockets wrap up regular season Warriors rally for win Broncos make it two in a row Helen L Whalen Veterans saluted at the Brown County Fair Fayetteville cancels school after threat Tommy J Stamper Sue Day Broncos move closer to SBAAC American Division title Lady G-Men working hard, showing improvement Sports complex soon to open in Mt. Orab Week 6 football roundup H Ray Warnock Jennings faces multiple sex offenses Georgetown nears water system completion Bible Baptist Barbeque brings big crowd Linda Taylor Rene Sizemore-Dahlheimer Eugene Snider Eric Workman Gregory Terry Edith M Moore Eileen Womacks Michael C Jennings Janice K Brunner Cheer squads compete at ‘Little State Fair’ Truck, tractor pulls draw a crowd at Brown County Fair Week 5 football roundup Lady Broncos rise to 11-6 with win over Batavia

Medicare turns fifty

Fifty years ago this week, aging in America was forever changed for the better.

At the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a new law creating Medicare and Medicaid. Sitting beside him was former President Harry Truman, who would become Medicare’s first beneficiary – some two decades after he first proposed a similar health care system.

On July 1, 1966, more than 18 million American seniors joined him.

Before the passage of Medicare, a third of our nation’s seniors lived in poverty. Only half had health insurance, and for those that did, insurance usually only covered visits to the hospital. Many faced discrimination based on age, preexisting conditions, and race.

Now, thanks to Medicare, 54 million seniors and people with disabilities have access to guaranteed healthcare benefits. Medicare helped to cut the poverty rate of seniors in half by 1973—less than ten years after its passage.

Medicare completed the promise made by the Social Security Act, passed three decades earlier: that in old age, Americans won’t be on their own. We as a country have a duty to make sure that people who have worked hard their entire lives spend their twilight years with their grandchildren, not worrying about medical bills.

And Medicare was so much more than a public health bill—it was also a civil rights bill.

Before Medicare, health care in America was highly segregated. African Americans went to the hospital far less often than white Americans, and when they were admitted, they were treated to separate and substandard care.

The passage of Medicare brought the desegregation of southern hospitals. More than 1,000 hospitals were integrated in less than four months after the passage of Medicare, and the disparities in health between black and white Americans shrank.

However, our work to end disparities in health care did not and cannot end with the passage of Medicare and Medicaid five decades ago. Access to affordable health care in America remains segregated along race and class lines. The uninsured rate is up to four times higher for African Americans and Latinos than whites.

Over the past five decades we have worked to improve Medicare, and make it work even better for our seniors. Hospice care is now a covered benefit. We have added a significant number of preventive services. And the recent health care law made additional improvements to Medicare – like expanding free preventive care services and closing the prescription drug coverage “donut hole” by 2020.

Fifty years from now, I have little doubt that we will be celebrating the 100th birthday of an even stronger Medicare.

Sherrod Brown is a United States Senator from the state of Ohio.

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Senator Sherrod Brown

Contributing Columnist

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