Did you know that President Obama and Senator Ted Kennedy were not the first to consider universal health coverage for Americans?
Not by a long shot!
In the 1930s, the first government-mandated health insurance proposal was placed before Congress to accompany the new Social Security System. It was shelved. Ten years later, Harry Truman proposed a national health insurance plan to lawmakers. This did not go over well and so President Truman emphasized medical care for seniors instead. This heated topic was debated in Congress for 20 years! Even the American Medical ASsociation touted the dangers of socializing medicine.
When Lyndon B. Johnson was swept into the White House in 1964, the Medicare bill moved forward. In January 1965, the bill was presented to the 89th Congress and despite resistance, was approved. The vote was 313-115 in the House and 68-21 in the Senate.
When the bill-signing ceremony took place at the White House, Johnson enrolled Truman as the first Medicare beneficiary in the U.S. Past President Truman was them presented with the first Medicare card in the nation!
Medicaid was created by the Social Security Amendments of 1965 during President Johnson’s term, as an entitlement program to help states provide medical coverage for low-income families as well as disabled individuals.
We’ve certainly come a long way since then.
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See you at the next post!
In the meantime, Good Health and happiness to everyone on Presidents’ Day!