Statement by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure on the 57th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid
Today, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure released the following statements to mark the 57th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid on July 30, 2022:
Secretary Xavier Becerra: “On the 57th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, we celebrate the peace of mind that these critical programs have offered Americans for decades. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to protecting and strengthening Medicare and Medicaid for the nearly 140 million Americans who access care through these programs. At HHS, we have made it a priority to increase access for everyone eligible for coverage, and today, our team continues to break barriers when it comes to enrollment.
“We are also working to make it easier for people to navigate their health care options under each program. For example, we have integrated behavioral health services into Medicare plans, extended postpartum coverage to a full year after pregnancy for Medicaid parents, and made care more accessible for the millions of seniors and people with disabilities by increasing funding for Medicaid home- and community-based services. Now, Congress has a critical opportunity to finally let Medicare negotiate a better deal on prescription drug prices for high-cost drugs – an action that could lower prescription drug costs for millions of seniors, individuals with disabilities, and other beneficiaries.
“Medicare and Medicaid have helped connect Americans to care for generations, and we will continue to strengthen and expand these programs to ensure all Americans – no matter who they are or where they live – have access to high-quality, affordable health care.”
CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure: “Over the last 57 years, Medicare and Medicaid have connected people to life-saving health coverage at critical moments in their lives. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to building on that progress by expanding coverage, increasing access to care, and improving the quality of care that people receive. With enrollment at record levels, we’ve worked tirelessly over the past year to make enrollment transitions shorter and simpler, to improve the care that Medicare and Medicaid enrollees receive, and to expand the services and supports that our programs offer. And while there is much to celebrate, we continue to be laser-focused on ensuring that the promise of these programs remains protected, more robust, and stronger than ever for generations to come. Happy 57th Birthday, Medicare and Medicaid.”
Nearly 140 million Americans (74M for Medicaid, nearly 64M for Medicare) benefit today from Medicaid and Medicare.
- Medicaid is the largest public health insurance program, covering more than 24 percent of the total U.S. population. Medicaid enrollment increased by 16.9 million or 26.5 percent from February 2020 (64.6 million) before the COVID-19 pandemic to March 2022 (80.9 million).
- A total of 21 million newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries as of April 2022 enrolled under the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion program.
- Millions of pregnant women and families rely on Medicaid for coverage before, during and post-pregnancy. The program paid for 42.1% of all births (total of 3,747,540) in 2019.
- The program is also the single largest payer for mental health services in the United States and is increasingly playing a larger role in the reimbursement of substance use services.
- More than 10 million Americans qualify for Medicaid based on a disability. People under age 65 who qualify for Medicaid on the basis of a disability include adults and children with disabilities present at birth as well as those who have disabling conditions acquired through illness, injury or trauma.
- Medicaid is the primary payer for nursing home care for people who need long-term care services across the nation, and the primary payer of home and community-based services (HCBS) which allow people with disabilities to live full lives in their community.
- Over 4.7 million individuals receive HCBS through Medicaid.
- In 2021, Medicare covered 63.8 million people: 55.8 million aged 65 and older, and 8 million disabled.
- In 2021, about 43.1 percent of these beneficiaries have chosen to enroll in Part C private health plans that contract with Medicare to provide Part A and Part B health services.
- Seniors are more likely to have health insurance coverage than any other age group, due to the availability of Medicare coverage.
- In 2021, 0.6 percent of people 65 and older were uninsured, compared with 4.4 percent among children (ages 0 to 17) and 14.0 percent among nonelderly adults (ages 18 to 64).
- In 2021, Medicare Part D provides affordable prescription drug coverage to over 48.8 million Americans. The Affordable Care Act eliminated the Coverage Gap (“the donut hole”) in the original Part D benefit, reducing patient cost-sharing responsibility for drugs from 100% to 25%.