July 20, 2021

Medicare’s 56th Birthday

Friday, July 30th. The national government’s broad involvement in individual health insurance goes back to this date 56 years ago. That’s when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Social Security Amendments, which established Medicare and Medicaid.

The legislation was introduced in Congress in March 1965, and passed by large majorities in both the House and Senate. In January 1966, President Johnson handed the first Medicare cards to former President Harry Truman — who had advocated such a program — and his wife, Bess.

Today, the Medicare system covers more than 61 million Americans. The 65-and-older population in the United States is over 54 million, and is expected to reach nearly 95 million by the year 2060.

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