Medicare and Medicaid After Ten Years

Archive Report

Evaluation of the Programs

Rising Cost of Providing Health Care in America

Ten years ago, on July 30, 1965, President Johnson signed into law what is generally considered to be the most important welfare legislation of his administration—the amendments to the Social Security Act of 1935 providing for the Medicare and Medicaid health programs. In signing the bill, the President said, “No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine. No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that they have so carefully put away over a lifetime so that they might enjoy dignity in their later years.”

It is generally acknowledged that the Medicare program has been largely successful in meeting the health care needs of the elderly. “Medicare has enabled ...

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