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47th Anniversary of Medicare

This week has had a lot of big news in health care.

In addition to the Affordable Care Act expanding women’s access to health screenings and contraception today, Tuesday July 30, 2012 was the 47th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid.

On January 11, 1944 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his State of the Union Address and suggested a second “bill of rights.”  Among those new rights President Roosevelt included, “The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health; The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.”

Over 20 years later President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law on July 30 1965.   President Johnson enrolled former President Harry S. Truman as the first Medicare beneficiary and presented him with the very first Medicare card.

Before Medicare, over half of all older people (age 65 and up) had absolutely no insurance.  Today, 45 years later, over 47 million older and disabled people receive health insurance and access to health care through Medicare.

You can read more about Medicare, as well as see President Truman’s application for Part B medical care coverage, as other photos of the signing ceremony at the following links.

You can read President Obama’s  Proclamation here:

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