Medicare's 44th birthday

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Medicare, one of the government’s most popular programs, turns 44 today. To celebrate, Public Citizen is working with Physicians for a National Health Plan and Healthcare-NOW! to advocate for a program that might be just as popular: a single-payer health system.

As President Obama works with different parties with a stake in health care reform, one increasingly vocal constituency is senior citizens. Why? They don’t want to see their beloved Medicare cut down to anything less than it is today. According to the Wall Street Journal, Obama has spent much time with the AARP reassuring them that any cuts are intended to reduce wasteful spending, not benefits.

If only everyone could have this kind of concern. Congress and the President still refuse to consider the single-payer option, under which everyone would have health insurance, regardless of ability to pay or previous medical conditions.

But in an attempt to change that, Public Citizen is participating in a rally today at the Capitol to help show just how many people support a single-payer system. Joining us is Dr. David Scheiner, who was President Obama’s primary care physician for 22 years while he lived in Chicago. Though Dr. Scheiner is a big fan of the President, he believes that any proposed health care reform that does not involve a single-payer plan will not work.

In addition to Dr. Scheiner, Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), Eric Massa (D-NY) and Anthony Weiner (D-NY) will speak at the rally. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will be in attendance as well. Throughout the event, about 100 D.C. taxis will circle the rally bearing signs indicating their support for a single-payer system.

Look for updates, pictures, and video from today’s event in the coming days. If you’re in town, please join us at the rally! We need all hands on deck to get our message firmly across: the American people will not sit idly by while our government refuses to consider the single-payer option.

Flickr photo by bookgrl.