July 30, 2015

Dallas Adds to Texas Success with Medicare Celebrations

By the time Dallas started its Medicare celebration on July 30, there were at least 128 other events taking place or scheduled nationwide. At least five of them were in Texas!

Dallasites gathered at the Alliance/AFT Educators’ Hall in the Oak Cliff section. Speakers were TARA organizer Judy Bryant, Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo, Congresswoman E.B. Johnson representative Luke Harvey, Congressman Marc Veasey representative Lorraine Birabil, State Representative Roberto Alonzo, Dallas Chapter of TARA President George Nolan, and me. We watched the short historical video “The Story of Medicare: A Timeline.” The best part came last, when the Common Ground Street Choir led the singing of progressive songs. Univision Channel 23 was kind enough to come early and video the entire event.

There are lots of photos on our Facebook Page (“Like” us while you’re there). I had difficulty sharing the videos onto Texas Alliance Facebook Page but they are on my own page.

We received a very nice letter of recognition from Congresswoman Johnson and the Mayor of the City of Dallas sent a special recognition of Medicare’s 50th anniversary. They are appended below.

The fight is on to preserve and extend Medicare, and the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans is more than ready for it!

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Let’s re-commit ourselves to preserving and expanding Medicare!


Gene Lantz

President, Texas Alliance for Retired Americans
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labordallas@sbcglobal.net Donate to Texas Alliance for Retired Americans by clicking here. Contact Texas organizer Judy Bryant at 214-729-0063.


Congress of the United States

30th District, Texas

July 30, 2015

Gene Lantz, President

Texas Alliance for Retired Americans

Dear Mr. Lantz,

As the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, I write to congratulate you and your members on a successful fifty years and to urge you to continue your advocacy for strong protections of the health care programs. Medicare and Medicaid programs have helped to improve the health of our nation and have ensured that all of our citizens can access quality health care. I remain in full support of a strong Medicare program and have advocated for the expansion of Medicaid in states such as Texas, where millions of residents remain uninsured.

The population age 65 and over increased by 24.7 percent between 2003 and 2013 and the number of individuals in need of aging programs continues to rise. Nearly 50 million older Americans and Americans with disabilities rely on Medicare coverage and more than 70 million individuals depend on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program for their health care needs. As the Baby Boomer Generation enters the 65 and over age bracket and the average life expectancy lengthens, it is clear that we cannot afford a shortage of services.

The Alliance for Retired Americans has not only fought to preserve vital programs for current seniors and retirees, but has also had the foresight to lead the debate for the benefit of future seniors and retired Americans. I truly comment the Alliance for Retired Americans and especially the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans on their tireless advocacy.


(signed) Eddie Bernice Johnson, Member of Congress

City of Dallas Special Recognition

WHEREAS, on July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a bill that aided our community with the opportunity with health, economic and social benefits, known as Medicare; and

WHEREAS, the Medicare Program first provided hospital and medical insurance for senior Americans, having an enrollment of 19 million citizens when the bill first went into effect in 1966. Due to high necessity for medical financial aid, the eligibility for Medicare broadened to include Medicaid, aiding low-income families; and

WHEREAS, in 1977, the Health Care financing Administration was created to administer Medicare and work with state governments to administer Medicaid. Medicaid, a branch of Medicare, is funded by state and federal programs; and

WHEREAS, Today marks the 50th Anniversary of an essential partnership between the Federal Government and the States to provide a basic health care safety net for some of the most vulnerable Americans: low-income children, parents, seniors and people with disabilities.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, MICHAEL S. RAWLINGS, mayor of the city of Dallas, and on behalf of the Dallas City Council, on Friday, July 24, 2015, do hereby extend special recognition to


in celebration of 50 years of service and support to Dallas area seniors, the poor and their families.

(signed) Michael S. Rawlings, Mayor

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