53 years ago this week, Medicare and Medicaid became law — creating the pillars of the American health care system. Today, millions of Americans depend on these vital programs, with over 58 million enrolled in Medicare and more than 70 million in Medicaid.

Medicare and Medicaid were originally created to help seniors, disabled Americans, and low-income individuals live longer, healthier lives by providing accessible, affordable health care. Today, both programs have broad popular support with close to 80 percent of Americans holding a favorable view of Medicare and 74 percent holding a favorable view of Medicaid.

With more than a third of all Americans relying on Medicare and Medicaid, we must protect these critically important programs and keep the promise of Medicare for future generations. In addition, we must find pragmatic, commonsense solutions to maintain and strengthen the quality of coverage provided through Medicaid.

Learn more about our work here, and celebrate Medicare and Medicaid’s birthday this week by joining the conversation on Twitter with the hashtags: #ProtectThePromise, #Medicare53, and #Medicaid53.