Ever heard the saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it?
That's how most Americans feel about Medicare. It works, so don't touch it (unless you're going to make improvements). Medicare provides comprehensive health care coverage to millions of seniors, and it's more cost effective than private insurance.
Check out the Top 10 Reasons Americans Love Medicare.
But not everyone loves Medicare so much. And one of those people is Rep. Tom Price from Georgia, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for health and human services secretary.
On Medicare's 44th anniversary, usually a time where people celebrate and reflect on the amazing promise of Medicare, Price penned a dour op-ed in Politico where he wrote: "Nothing has had a greater negative effect on the delivery of health care than the federal government’s intrusion into medicine through Medicare." Yikes.
Looking at Price's record, we see he voted for House Speaker Paul Ryan's budget plan, which would replace Medicare with a voucher system, aka coupon care, meaning seniors would pay significantly more for health care. The Ryan budget also would raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67. Let's be clear, this would destroy Medicare.
Price is also a fan of "balance billing," which means doctors can raise their prices for seniors by allowing them to charge fees in addition to what Medicare already pays them.
During Trump's campaign, he claimed he wasn't going to make changes to Medicare. His pick of Price to head the HHS sends a very different message to America's working families.
It's easy to see why the vast majority of Americans want to keep the promise of Medicare.
When you reach old age, you can feel secure knowing you have health care.
Children and grandchildren don't have to worry about their parents and grandparents being overwhelmed by exorbitant health care costs in the private market.
Fun fact: Before Medicare was enacted in 1962, a whopping 48% of seniors lacked health insurance as opposed to only 2% today. That's huge.
We can't turn the clock backward decades to a time when seniors were priced out of the health insurance system, unable to afford vital care.
Fortunately, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are poised to fight back on any attempts the next Congress might take to end Medicare as we know it.
The AFL-CIO is firmly against turning Medicare into "Coupon Care" and any other attempts to privatize it or shift more costs on to seniors.