A Brief History of Medicare and Medicaid
Most people don’t have a very clear understanding of what Medicare and Medicaid are.
Many times people do not know where to locate and search for this information. Let’s face it, as with most acts passed by our federal government, they can be rather difficult to find, read and understand, not to mention how they’re always changing with Supreme Court rulings, and amendments added over time.
Here is a brief overview of where Medicare and Medicaid came from and where they are today.
In the early 20th century the concept of national health insurance came to be a very strong political issue. Theodore Roosevelt was one of our first presidents to include social security in their platform. As a part of the Theodore Roosevelt’s Second New Deal, congress put the Social Security Act into effect. It attempted to limit what were seen as dangers in the modern American life, including old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children. Several parts of the New Deal were struck down by the Supreme Court being deemed unconstitutional or out of the jurisdiction of the federal government including several act such as Railroad Retirement Act, National Industrial Recovery Act, and the Agricultural Adjustment Act.
Government provided medical insurance was also kept out of President Roosevelt’s Second New Deal as a result of Supreme Court ruling. Under President Truman’s administration, Truman attempted to incorporate Medical Insurance into his Fair Deal but was also unsuccessful in his attempts.
Around 1915 the group American Association for Labor Legislation attempted to introduce a medical insurance bill to state legislatures but fell dismally to no avail. Eventually, the Social Security Amendments was put into effect in 1965 under Lyndon Baines Johnson’s in his Great Society program. It passed with 307 votes in the House and 70 votes in Senate. In effect the Social Security Amendment of 1965 included two parts, later to be known as Medicaid and Medicare.
At the amendment signing, Johnson credited Truman with planting “the seeds of compassion and duty which have today flowered into care for the sick and serenity for the fearful.” A complete documentation of the Social Security Act and the Social Security Amendments can be found here.
According to Investopedia, Medicaid is “a joint federal and state program that helps low-income individuals or families pay for the costs associated with long-term medical and custodial care, provided they qualify. Although largely funded by the federal government, Medicaid is run by the state where coverage may vary.” In addition, Medicare is a “U.S. federal health program that subsidizes people who meet one of the following criteria:
- An individual over the age of 65 who has been a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident for five years.
- An individual who is disabled and has collected Social Security for a minimum of two years.
- An individual who is undergoing dialysis for kidney failure or who is in need of a kidney transplant.
- An individual who has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease).”
Medicare does not cover many senior living or elder care facilities such as Independent Living, Residential Care, or Assisted Living. However, according to the Medicare Government webpage, there are alternative plans that your family might consider. For nursing homes, alternatives include Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and Social Managed Care Plan.
More information about how to apply for both Medicare and Medicaid can be found at the Medicare Website. Cariloop’s team also stays current and up to date on the changes to healthcare laws being discussed or implemented. For more information on how our team can help your family with some of your Medicare or Medicaid questions, be sure to drop us a note about becoming a member.