Medicare was passed into law on July 30th, 1965 at a public ceremony in Independence, Mo by President Lyndon B Johnson. President Harry S Truman was presented with the nations first Medicare Card. Truman was known as the “Daddy of Medicare” Medicare services started one year later in July of 1966 covering more than 19 million Americans. In 1972 President Nixon extended coverage to the long term disabled. Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part C was started in 1997 bringing private insurance plans into the market place. Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage was signed into law in 2003 and took effect in 2006. In 2016 there were over 57 million people on Medicare
Here is a time line of several Medicare and insurance-related milestones:
1945: President Truman calls for a national health insurance program for all. Legislators on Capitol Hill don't act. He asks again in 1947 and 1949. Bills are introduced but die in Congress.
1961: A task force convened by President John F. Kennedy recommends creating a national health insurance program specifically for those over 65. In May 1962 Kennedy gives a televised speech about the need for Medicare.
1964: President Johnson calls on Congress to create Medicare.
1965: Legislation creating Medicare as well as Medicaid (health care services for certain low-income people and others) passes both houses of Congress by a vote of 70-24 in the Senate and 307-116 in the House. President Johnson signs the Medicare bill into law on July 30 as part of the Social Security Amendments of 1965.
1966: When Medicare services actually begin on July 1, more than 19 million Americans age 65 and older enroll in the program.
1972: President Richard M. Nixon extends Medicare eligibility to individuals under age 65 who have long-term disabilities or end-stage renal disease.
1997: Private insurance plans — originally called Medicare+Choice or Part C, later renamed Medicare Advantage — begin, giving beneficiaries the option of choosing an HMO-style Medicare plan instead of the traditional fee-for-service Medicare program.
2003: On Dec. 8, President George W. Bush greatly expands Medicare by signing the Medicare Modernization Act, which establishes a prescription drug benefit. This optional coverage, for which beneficiaries pay an additional premium, is called Medicare Part D.
2006: On Jan. 1, Medicare Part D goes into effect and enrolled beneficiaries begin receiving subsidized prescription drug coverage.
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