Inmate housing options narrow Opiate addiction strains Municipal Court Lillian E Cowdrey Catherine A Houk Warriors win Jim Neu XC Invite Week 2 football roundup Broncos unbeaten at 4-0 Lady Broncos compete in Bob Schul XC Invite Ronnie L Day Nettie F Lightner Wallace sentenced to life in prison Court filing links Anderson and Sawyers Man killed in Fatal Crash on US 52 Henry E Fields Anleah W Stamper Maxine M Garrett U.S. 68 reopens Drought ends for Lady Rockets G-Men rise to 3-1 with back-to-back victories Rockets cruise to 4-0 win over Jays Lady Broncos start off SBAAC American Division play with 3-2 win over Goshen Week one football roundup Fair board president Orville Whalen passes away Wallace guilty, faces life in prison Zoning ordinance approved for Village of Sardinia Felicity man killed in boat crash Evelyn E Smith Peggy A Wiederhold Thomas P Neary Warriors kick off SHAC play Lady Broncos stand at 2-1 Late Devil goals lead to Lady Warrior loss David R Carrington Sr Crum arraigned on murder charge Sawyers faces new charge Aberdeen’s fiscal officer resigns 12th Annual Golf Tournament by Veterans Home Aug. 26 Betty G Schatzman Robert L McAfee Paul V Tolle Herbert D Smith Helen R Little Eugene M Press Lady Broncos out to defend league title SHAC holds volleyball preview Lady Warriors packed with experience, talent for 2017 fall soccer campaign Georgetown’s Sininger off to excellent start for 2017 golf season New response team for overdoses Drugged driving becoming a bigger problem Danny F Dickson Eva J Smith Michael R Stewart Sr Charles McRoberts III Marsha B Thigpen Michael L Chinn William A Coyne Jr Woman found dead in Ripley A girl’s life on the gridiron Rockets face G-Men in preseason scrimmage 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk draws a crowd William C Latham Four charged in overdose death Underage felonies strain county system Fayetteville looks forward to 2018 celebration Russellville council discusses underground tanks in village Marilyn A Wren Larry E Carter Virginia L McQuitty Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Hundreds of Narcan doses used in 2016 Heavy weekend rain causes flooding and damaged roads Child Focus hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5

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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