July 30, 2020 marks 55 years since Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. As the programs celebrate their emerald anniversary, they are at the peak of their popularity and provide health coverage for more than 34% of those covered in the US.
In fact, recent polling by Public Opinion Strategies finds that 89% of Americans have a favorable or very favorable view of Medicaid and 94% have the same view of Medicare.
The Federation of American Hospitals commends the Medicaid and Medicare programs for improving the health care and well-being of millions of Americans for more than five decades. What started out as hospital and medical insurance has since grown to meet the evolving health care needs of people across the country adding prescription benefits and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aimed to expand Medicaid and currently, 38 states have offered Medicaid program benefits to low-income adults.
In times like these, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent public health emergency make it clear that Medicaid and Medicare are lifelines for Americans across the country. These programs are vital to the health and well-being of many families and FAH is proud to support and advocate for their continued care.
Fun fact: standing by President Johnson on that historic day were Lady Bird Johnson, former President Harry S. Truman and Bess Truman. President Truman was the first enrollee in Medicare!