July 30, 1965:  President Lyndon B. Johnson Signs Medicare Program into Law

On this day in 1965, the Medicare program was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson during a ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri.  Before Medicare’s creation, health insurance was only affordable and available for half of the senior citizen population.  The new program promised to provide health insurance to people aged 65 and older, regardless of income or medical history.

Recently, health care in the United States has been a trending topic as states debate the possibility of Medicaid expansion.  PBS NewsHour correspondent Betty Ann Bowser takes a closer look at the arguments and the states that oppose.

Photo: LBJ signs Medicare Act (Social Security Amendments) with Harry Truman looking on, 07/30/1965; U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.


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