Profile America: Medicare Anniversary

Monday, July 30th. The national government’s broad involvement in individual health insurance goes back to this date 53 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 58 million Americans. The 65-and-older population in the United States is 49 million, and is expected to reach nearly 95 million by the year 2060.

Profile America is in its 22nd year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

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