Medicare and Medicaid turn 50!

Jul 16, 2015

Medicare and Medicaid turn 50!

Medicare and Medicaid started as basic insurance programs for Americans who didn’t have health insurance. These programs have changed over the years to provide more and more Americans with access to the quality and affordable health care they need. Now, there are nearly 125 million people with Medicare or Medicaid coverage.

As you may know, Medicare mainly provides insurance for seniors and people with certain disabilities, while Medicaid provides coverage to low-income individuals and children. Medicaid also provides coverage for long term services – like nursing home stays – that Medicare doesn’t normally cover.

In recognition of the 50th anniversary, we are collecting stories of how Medicare and Medicaid have changes peoples’ lives. Please join our “50 for 50 Initiative” and share how Medicaid or Medicaid has impacted your life so that we can continue to champion these vital programs for the future.  Share your story here.

House cancels spending bill over Confederate flag fight

Last week, Republican Leaders were forced to unceremoniously pull a major bill from the House Floor after a fight erupted over the Confederate flag.  The House had been debating the annual funding bill for the Department of Interior and was at the very end of the bill when the Republican Chair of the Committee offered a last-minute amendment that would have reversed an earlier vote to ban Confederate flags at federal cemeteries managed by the National Parks Service.  Outraged Democrats demanded a recorded vote, which was postponed to the next day.  Faced with a growing firestorm of public disapproval, Republican Leaders decided to abandon the Interior funding bill rather than vote on their own Confederate flag amendment.

Rep. Levin supports the America’s College Promise Act

Rep. Levin joined other House Democrats last week to introduce the America’s College Promise Act [H.R. 2962]. You may remember that President Obama mentioned this policy proposal in this year’s State of the Union Speech. The America’s College Promise Act of 2015 would provide funding for two years of free community college to eligible students. In order to be eligible, individuals must be first-time students enrolled at least half-time, maintaining at 2.5 GPA, and have an adjusted gross family income of $200,000 or less.

Rep. Levin Calls for Investigation into Inversion Scheme

Rep. Levin joined as part of a  bicameral group of seven Members of Congress last week called for Inspector General (IG) investigations into federal contracts being awarded to Ingersoll Rand, in violation of federal law. The letter to Department of Homeland Securities Inspector General John Roth asks him to investigate the revelations that DHS has cleared Ingersoll Rand to win contracts, as detailed in a recent Bloomberg story.  Federal law bars companies who move offshore to lower their tax bill, while changing little of their business practices, from getting contracts.

Ignersoll Rand, first moved from the U.S to Bermuda in 2001 after approximately 100 years as an American corporation. In 2009, Ignersoll Rand moved its address from Bermuda to Ireland, despite keeping the CEO and vast majority of their operations in the United States.

The 2002 law that created DHS prohibited the department from awarding contracts to inverted corporations without a national security waiver. Because the ban is included on annual funding bills, Congress has to renew and the President must sign it annually.

“Like many other companies engaging in inversion schemes, Ignersoll Rand took advantage of our education system, our research and development incentives, our skilled workforce, our infrastructure, our patent and court systems, and our national security, all supported by U.S taxpayers, to start and build their business,” said Rep. Levin.