Tammy Zelten-Essay 1
Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States federal government to guarantee access to health insurance to citizens age 65 and older, those with end-stage renal disease and former workers who have been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance for at least two years. Signed into law on July 30, 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson as Title XVIII of the Social Security Amendment of 1965, Medicare was designed to close major gaps in the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program (OASDI). Prior to the enacting of Medicare, less than half of the elderly in the US were covered by health insurance.
The most significant impact of this law was the establishment of two related health insurance programs to provide protection against the high costs of hospital expenses (Part A), and a voluntary supplemental plan that covers payment for physician services and other medical expenses (Part B).
The original budget for Medicare was approximately $10 billion and covered 19 million Americans during the first year.
Early legislation to provide a national health plan for seniors was first introduced by President Harry Truman in 1945 when he called for the creation of a national health insurance fund. Every Congress from 1952 to the passage of this bill received proposals, primarily from Democrats, for providing hospital insurance and health benefits as part of the social security system.
Medicare Part A, financed by a portion of Social Security payroll tax, is designed to cover hospitalization and related expenses for citizens when they reach age 65. The responsibility for the administration of the program is with the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. The Secretary uses both state agencies and private organizations to assist in administering the program. All contributions to finance the...