Happy Birthday, Medicare

On this date, forty-seven years ago, July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Social Security Act Amendments, popularly known as the Medicare bill. It established Medicare, a health insurance program for the elderly, and Medicaid, a health insurance program for the poor.

Former President Truman participated in the signing ceremony with President Johnson. Harry S. Truman and Bess Truman received Medicare registration cards numbers one and two.  At the time, Mr. Truman was 81 years old, and he described it as a “profound personal experience for me.”

Medicare Card number one, issued to Harry S. Truman
President Lyndon Johnson hands President Harry S. Truman a pen as Lady Bird Johnson, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and Bess Truman look on.

Today, forty seven years later, Democrats continue stand up proudly for the health and quality of life of all Americans and to defend Medicare from attacks from Republicans Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and Steve Pearce who want to end Medicare as we know it, and replace it with a voucher program.

Learn more about the Medicare bill.