The peo­ple who built the pro­grams

THE PI­O­NEERS

Modern Healthcare - - 50 MEDICARE AND MEDICAID THE NEXT HALF-CENTURY -

HARRY S. TRU­MAN was the first pres­i­dent to pro­pose a na­tional health in­sur­ance pro­gram, in 1945. PRES­I­DENT LYN­DON B. JOHN­SON cred­ited Tru­man’s pro­posal as a big help in get­ting Medi­care and Med­i­caid passed in 1965 and held the sign­ing cer­e­mony at Tru­man’s pres­i­den­tial li­brary, pre­sent­ing Tru­man with the very first Medi­care card.

PRES­I­DENT JOHN F. KENNEDY pro­posed uni­ver­sal health in­sur­ance for Amer­i­cans 65 and older dur­ing the 1960 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

U. S. REP. AIME FORAND (D-R.I.), shown with Kennedy at left, in­tro­duced a bill in 1957 pro­vid­ing public cov­er­age for se­niors. The pro­posal is seen as a fore­run­ner to Medi­care.

SEN. ROBERT KERR (D-Okla.) co-au­thored the Kerr-Mills Act which passed in 1960, which pro­vided fed­eral fund­ing to states to cover med­i­cal costs for low-in­come se­niors. It served as a model for Med­i­caid.

SENS. TED KENNEDY (D-Mass.) and OR­RIN HATCH (R-Utah) in 1997 spear­headed cre­ation of the Chil­dren’s Health In­sur­ance Pro­gram, which built on Med­i­caid to ex­pand chil­dren’s cov­er­age.

PRES­I­DENT BILL CLIN­TON signed the bill.

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