Stranded students rescued by Brown County cooperation 4-H Teen Ambassador Dunning attends SHOT Show Veterans Service Commission invites veterans to seek help with benefits Unemployment rate rises in Brown County Pick a Lollipop, help a dog A season to remember G-Men hit the field for first baseball scrimmage Eastern’s Rigdon, Purdy earn AP SE District Div. III honors New blocking, kicking rules address risk minimization in high school football Judy A Schneider James M Darnell Lawanda R Truesdell Paul E Grisham Arrelous R Rowland Dennis E Stivers David M Daniels Fayetteville man is charged with child porn April 1st Grand Opening for Jacob’s Ladder Resale Boutique in Georgetown Talent Show auditions at Gaslight Theatre Nine indicted by county grand jury Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall visit coming next May to BC Fairgrounds In it to win it! Bronco wrestlers end season on successful note Eastern’s Hopkins finishes 5th in long jump at OATCCC State Indoor Track and Field Meet SBAAC awards academic all-stars, winning teams Marvin D Atkin Beverly S Flatt Jessie M Sanders Leroy Deck Sr Jody A Towler Sherman E Young Kenneth C Burton Varnau’s face second defamation suit Attorney General to visit Georgetown schools Clermont County GOP hosts Wenstrup, DeWine at dinner Fatal car crash in Adams County BC Chamber welcomes new Cricket Wireless store to Mt. Orab Aberdeen Council approves 2017 budget Royce K Zimmerman Lady Warriors advance to Elite 8 SBAAC awards boys basketball all-stars SBAAC girls basketball all-stars take home awards SHAC Winter Sports Awards Banquet set for March 12 Altman claims 170-pound district title Sirkka L Buller Arthur C Schneider Lowell G Neal Virginia M Schirmer Connie S Darling Harold L Purdin Terry E Frye Lucille Schumacher Lady Warriors roll to district finals Broncos take care of business to claim sectional crown G-Men upset MVCA to earn berth sectional finals WBHS JROTC Rifle Team competes at Camp Perry Lady Rockets finish 12-12 Season reaches end for Rockets Eugene D Ring Two indicted on major drug charges Two charged with home invasion Cincinnati airport expanding services, lowering prices in effort to compete Two sentenced in common pleas court Georgetown man hurt in car crash Robert G Miller Linda M Howland Robert E McKinney Mildred J Hodges Farrel L Amiott Patricia Brown Rick L Dye Mary E Nagel Betty Ratliff Broncos claim SBAAC wrestling title Broncos pull ahead for win over G-Men in SBAAC Tourney Ripley boys wrap up regular season with win at Lynchburg Eastern girls are sectional champs Anderson pleads not guilty to battery charge Some county offices to change locations Fayetteville prepares for Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall HealthSource hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Five sentenced in Brown County Common Pleas Court June Howser Marguerite A Fender Timothy D Harris Jay R Purdy Robin S Godwin Marc A Wachter Chester W Eyre Warriors blast past the G-Men, 61-40 Rockets performing well heading into post-season tournament play Lady Warriors bring home the Gold with perfect 13-0 finish in SHAC Western Brown Junior High wrestling team wraps up successful season Rockets fall victim to ‘Pack’ attack Broncos suffer heartbreaking loss to Mentor Lake Catholic in state quarterfinals Adult Education Center coming to county ‘Senior Playground’ moving forward at Georgetown park Brown County 4-H kicks off another year Eastern Middle School celebrates “Kindness Week” Billie L Shoemaker

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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