Today is the 50th Anniversary of Medicare.
Medicare helped my parents, and it’s helped millions of older Americans.
My parents used to talk about “going to the poorhouse.” I seemed when their parents were growing up, poor people were actually taken to poor farms or buildings that were part of a prison or public institution. If they were able bodied, they were required to work.
My parents were spared poverty due to Medicare and Social Security.
When Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law on July 30, 1965, about half of Americans 65 and older had no health insurance.
In the first six months, more than 2.5 million Americans benefitted from Medicare-covered hospital care. Fifty years later, 55.2 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare.
The Center for Medicare Advocacy offers “50 Insights for Medicare’s 50th Anniversary”:
- Medicare Was Key to Integrating Hospitals
- Medicare Reduced Poverty
- Medicare Saves Lives
- Medicare’s Future Was Strengthened by the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
- Medicare is a Sacred Trust that Must Be Preserved
- Medicare Helps People with Disabilities
- Medicare Beneficiaries are Remarkable
- Medicare is at the Heart of America's Character
- Medicare is Good. It Could Have Been Even Better.
- Medicare Helps Older and Disabled People Stay Home
- Medicare Helps Low Income People
- Medicare Is a Model for All Health Insurance
- Medicare Increasingly Benefits Private Industry
- Medicare Opened Doors to Care – Let’s Not Really Celebrate Until They’re Opened for Everyone
- Medicare Helps People at the End of Life
- Medicare Was a Precursor to Current Debates about the Role of Government
- Medicare Must Help People Communicate
- Medicare Doesn’t Cover Long-Term Nursing Home Care
- Medicare Has Options: Know What You Need… and What You Want
- Medicare is There When People Need it Most
- Medicare is One of the Greatest Achievements of the 20th Century
- Medicare Needs an Alert Watchdog
- Medicare Should Fill Gaps in Coverage for Oral Health and Other Key Health Services
- Medicare and Prescription Drug Coverage
- Medicare Can Be a Source for LGBT Inclusive Medical Care
- Medicare Needs a Timely Way for Patients to Appeal Hospice Denials
- Medicare Covers Preventive Care
- Medicare Makes Health Care Affordable
- Medicare Needs to Address Enrollment Confusion and Notify People When it’s Time to Enroll
- Medicare Provides Hope for Patients and Families
- Medicare Gives Freedom, Flexibility and Choice
- Medicare is a Success – And Americans Are Willing to Pay for It
- Medicare is a Private–Public Partnership
- Medicare Helps People Help Others
- Medicare Helps Patients Transition from One Care-Setting to Another – But More is Needed
- Medicare Provides Silent Support for Generations
- Medicare Should Be For Everyone
- Medicare Makes Hard Things a Bit Easier
- Medicare Offers “Defined” Benefits That People Can Count On
- Medicare Lets People with Disabilities Live Their Lives
- Medicare' Appeals Process Is an Important Beneficiary Protection that Must Be Fixed
- Medicare Provides Economic Security
- Medicare Should Be Allowed to Work
- Medicare to the Rescue
- Medicare May Be Helpful in the Event of a Disaster or Emergency
- Medicare Must Continue to Evolve – Add Coverage for Hearing Aids
- Medicare Should Include Drug Coverage in the Traditional Program (and Negotiate Prices)
- Medicare Should Properly Cover Physical, Speech, and Occupational Therapies
- Medicare Beneficiaries are Grateful (A Compilation)
- Medicare is 50!
Medicaid, a state and federally funded program that offers health coverage to low-income Americans, was also signed into law on July 30, 1965.
In a proclamation, Pres. Barack Obama said:
Medicare and Medicaid did not just make our country better; they reaffirmed its greatness and established a legacy that we must carry forward today. We must recognize that this work, though begun a half-century ago and continued over the decades that have followed, is not yet complete. For too many, quality, affordable health care is still out of reach – and we must recommit to finishing this important task.
Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security into law on Aug. 14, 1935. I’ll be writing about Social Security on its upcoming 70th Anniversary.