History of Medicare in America

Medicare and Medicaid were established as law under the social securities act of 1965. Rules and policies of Medicare are governed by Social Security Administration, whereas Medicare program is administered by each state for its area. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) controls both the programs and establishes requirements for quality, delivery, funding, and standards for eligibility.

Social Security Administration (SSA) and Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) are agencies of the Department of Education, Health, n and Welfare. In order to effectively coordinate the operations of Medicare and Medicaid HEW created the Health Care Financing Administration in the year 1977. Three years later in the year 1980 HEW was divided in two divisions the Department dealing in Health and Human Services and the Department of Education.

Medicare Health Care Plans

Harry S. Truman was the first U.S. President to come up with the idea of prepaid Medicare health insurance plan. In his November 19, 1945 special address, he outlined about medical plan for all Americans through social security system.

It was dubbed as “National Health Insurance” and included hospitals, doctors, nursing, dental service and laboratory. Furthermore, medical benefits for very low income people were sponsored from federal government revenues.

Over the year, lawmakers restricted the recipients of health insurance mainly to beneficiaries of social security. As per a national survey, mere 56% of people of the age of 65 or above were covered under health insurance coverage. Former President John F. Kennedy laid stress on Legislators to provide insurance coverage to maximum number of aged people.

On July 30, 1965, former President Truman received the first Medicare card in a ceremony where President Johnson signed the Medicaid and Medicare Amendment. The ceremony was attended by the First Lady Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Truman, and Vice – President Hubert Humphrey. As per President Johnson words it is milestone achieved not just because that the bill is passed but also due to the fact that it took so much time to pass the bill.

Almost every American aged 65 or older can benefit from the health coverage provided by Medicare. Around 19 million people enrolled in the Medicare program in the first year alone. Medicaid extends Medicare health care service to certain low income families and reach out to assist the poor through existing state and federal welfare structure.

In the year 1972 the scope of Medicare benefits was expanded to include two additional and highly prone groups; disabled people receiving cash benefits under the program run by social security department from twenty four months and people in the end stage of renal disease.

One December 8, 2003, President George W. Bush signed a bill which included prescription drug under the Medicare coverage. This historical legislation enabled aged or disabled people to enroll in prescription drug benefits, which ultimately provided them with better benefits and more choices in health care.