Health Care


Medicare and Medicaid Turn 50



Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law legislation that established the Medicare and Medicaid programs—our country’s first major form of national health care.

Prior to Medicare, very few Americans over the age of 65 had health care and many lived in poverty. Similar to the Affordable Care Act, the idea of establishing a national health care safety net for older Americans was contentious.  President Roosevelt stopped short of including a federal health insurance program in the Social Security Act of 1935 in order to avoid jeopardizing the bill’s passage, and both Presidents Truman and Kennedy tried and failed to pass legislation to establish a health insurance program for older Americans.

President Johnson made Medicare a top priority as part of his War on Poverty, and launched an aggressive and successful campaign to pass the legislation.  On July 30, 1965, President Johnson traveled to the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, to sign Medicare into law, and presented President Truman and his wife with the first two Medicare cards.

At the signing ceremony, President Johnson said, “No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine. No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that they have so carefully put away over a lifetime so that they might enjoy dignity in their later years. No longer will young families see their own incomes, and their own hopes, eaten away simply because they are carrying out their deep moral obligations to their parents, and to their uncles, and their aunts. And no longer will this Nation refuse the hand of justice to those who have given a lifetime of service and wisdom and labor to the progress of this progressive country.”


Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act Subsidies in All 50 States


via Barack Obama

Today, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) insurance subsidies as legal in a 6-3 ruling.  The decision is a victory for the millions of Americans who need financial assistance to purchase health insurance, and means that tax credits for middle class and low-income Americans will be available in all 50 states.

The King v. Burwell case argued that the federal government exchange,, did not have the legal authority to distribute tax credits to help middle class and low-income Americans purchase coverage. Since 34 states rely on as their health insurance marketplace, a decision in favor of the challengers would have undermined the entire purpose of the ACA and put health coverage out of reach for 6.4 million people.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. sided with the majority, and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented.

Working America has Health Care Options for Those Who Still Need Coverage

WAWorking America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, has a Health Care program available to UFCW members who don’t have collectively bargained health insurance. The program provides a simple way for members to learn about health care options, the costs, and how to sign up for insurance. With the health care open enrollment ending date two weeks away, it is important for members to check out the Working America Health Care program and get themselves and their families covered before February 15. If members don’t have health coverage during 2015, they may have to pay a penalty.

The Working America Health Care program offers members an easy way to help them find the best plan that fits their needs. With the program members can:

-Have someone help walk them through tax credits and subsidies to pay for health insurance; and

-Talk to licensed health care professionals who can help them pick the most affordable insurance option.

If members sign up for an insurance plan that is supported by the Working America Health Care program, members will also receive access to a personalized Health Advocate service. The Health Advocate service can help coordinate care and answer any coverage claims or clinical questions.

Visit the Working America Health Care program website to enroll in health insurance and then access a Health Advocate.

Below please also find an informational flyer in English and Spanish.