The Social Security Amendments of 1965, Pub.L. 89–97, 79 Stat. 286, enacted July 30, 1965, was legislation in the United States whose most important provisions resulted in creation of two programs: Medicare and Medicaid. The legislation initially provided federal health insurance for the elderly (over 65) and for poor families.
History Many politicians were involved in drafting the final bill that was introduced to the United States Congress in March 1965. On July 30, 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson (D) signed the bill into law.
The concept of national health insurance began in the early 20th century in the United States and then came to prominence during the Truman administration. Between 1958 and 1964, controversy grew and a bill was drafted. The signing of the act, as part of Johnson’s Great Society, began an era with a greater emphasis on public health issues. Medicare and Medicaid became the United States’ first public health insurance programs. The legislation was vigorously opposed by the American Medical Association until it had been enacted, following which the AMA cooperated in its implementation.
In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt included social insurance for sickness in the platform of his Progressive Party (United States, 1912). Around 1915 the group American Association for Labor Legislation attempted to introduce a medical insurance bill to some state legislatures. These attempts were not successful, and as a result controversy about national insurance came about. National groups supporting the idea of government health insurance included the AFL-CIO, the American Nurses Association, National Association of Social Workers, and the Socialist Party USA. The most prominent opponent of national medical insurance was the American Medical Association (AMA); others included the American Hospital Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Life Insurance Association of People.
In 1935, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) signed the Social Security Act, medical benefits were left out of the bill. The committee that Roosevelt appointed to study issues related to Social Security wanted to include health insurance in the bill. However, the committee was concerned that amending the bill to include health insurance would kill the entire bill. Harry Truman took on the idea of national medical care and tried to integrate it into his Fair Deal program. Truman’s attempts were also unsuccessful, though during his presidency the fight for national medical care became specific to the aged population.
Medicare, Medicaid turns 50
As part of the 50th anniversary celebration for these programs, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is collecting stories of how Medicare and Medicaid have made a difference for everyday Americans.
Please visit Medicare.gov/anniversary/share-your-story to share your Medicare or Medicaid story.
- Medicare and Medicaid: keeping Americans healthy for 50 years (blog)
- Making Medicare make sense (Q&A)
- Medicare and Medicaid cover nearly 1 out of every 3 Americans—that’s more than 100 million Americans.
- Before 1966, roughly half of all seniors had no health insurance. Today, nearly all seniors are covered by Medicare, or Medicare & Medicaid together.
- July 29, 2015 Presidential Proclamation — 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid
- Share your story about how Medicare or Medicaid has helped you
Social Security Timeline: http://www.ssa.gov/history/1930.html
Learn more about Social Security: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/
The 2015 White House Conference on Aging
THE 2015 WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE ON AGING
2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. The White House held the Conference on Aging to discuss key programs as well as to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade. In the past, conference processes were determined by statute with the form and structure directed by Congress through legislation authorizing the Older Americans Act. To date, Congress has not reauthorized the Older Americans Act, and the pending bill does not include a statutory requirement or framework for the 2015 conference.
The face of America is growing older and more diverse as the first baby boomers reached retirement age in 2011, accelerating a population surge in the number of Americans over the age of 65. Each day for the next 15 years, thousands more will reach retirement age, creating new opportunities for how we define what it means to be an older American. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging provided an opportunity to listen to older Americans and engage with the American public about strategies to continue to maximize the contributions of older Americans to our country.
* RETIREMENT SECURITY
* HEALTHY AGING
* LONG-TERM SERVICES AND SUPPORTS
* ELDER JUSTICE
Learn more: http://whitehouseconferenceonaging.gov/
Cecilia Muñoz July 29, 2014 01:25 PM EDT
Today at the White House, I was delighted to host a roundtable discussion with leaders from across the aging community who came together to discuss the White House Conference on Aging, which will take place in 2015 – the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security.
Just yesterday, the Medicare Trustees released their annual report finding that, since their report last year, the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by four additional years to 2030. When this Administration first took office, the Trust Fund was projected to go bankrupt more than a dozen years sooner, in 2017. The Trustees also project that – for the second year in a row – Part B premiums will not increase, allowing seniors to keep more of their Social Security cost-of-living increase.
Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, we have improved the affordability of the program, while at the same time helping Medicare work better for seniors. For example, we are closing the prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole” to make medications more affordable for Medicare beneficiaries. Just today, we learned that 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities saved $11.5 billion since 2010 – over $1,000 on average for people hitting the donut hole. Additionally, Medicare now provides coverage without cost-sharing for many preventive benefits to help keep older Americans healthy. The Affordable Care Act also responds to older Americans’ desire to remain independent in their communities by creating incentives for states to provide the services and supports that help people remain at home as they age.