More than 50 years ago, on July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare with the words, "I'll spend the damned money," he said. "I can restrict tanks – but not health."
The story behind Medicare's birth here in Independence, Missouri, shows that LBJ has named former President Harry Truman as "the true daddy of Medicare." LBJ signed Medicare in Independence to honor Truman's efforts to establish a state health insurance scheme.) Truman became the first Medicare participant, and Truman's wife Bess received America's second Medicare card ̵
Brief Facts About Medicare Back Then …
- More than 50 percent of seniors were not health insured before the founding of Medicare and 35 percent lived in poverty, according to the Center for Medicare Advocacy .
- Immediate Success Medicare came into effect in 1966 and more than 19 million people participated in the first year, increasing the access of senior citizens to medical care and hospital care by a third.
- A Model for Universal Health Care Medicare was originally conceived as a stepping stone to a universal national health care system. The Vietnam War put an end to this idea by lifting the federal funds necessary for such an initiative.
- A Catalyst for Desegregation Under Medicare law, hospitals seeking to take Medicare patients had to be desegregated. In the first four months, more than a thousand people were integrated.
- A plus for longevity According to the New York Times, life expectancy at the age of 65 increased by five years between 1970 and 2010. Coverage was even more limited than it is now. Analysts attribute the increase in part to Medicare, which allows for early treatment.
- A blessing for all. Have you ever been treated in the ER, even though you were uninsured? Following a decision in 1985, emergency rooms had to be set up in all hospitals participating in Medicare, so that everyone, whether insured or not, could receive basic care.
And now …
- Growing, Growing … What began as barebones insurance has evolved into a robust program of coverage for seniors with benefits added over the years: long-term disability insurance (1972), health insurance to Home (1980), Hospice Cover (1982), Prescription Drug Coverage (2006 – but initially only for those with private Medicare plans), expanded free health checkups and tests (2010, with the Affordable Care Act) and an end to the Refusal to provide qualified carers for chronic diseases such as Alzheimer's due to a non-ameliorative patient (2012) and lastly the permanent lifting of the annual Medicare Prohibition Physiotherapy Caps (2018).
- Grown Over 46 million seniors are now covered by Medicare – that's almost every American senior. Another 9 million disabled are also covered by Medicare.
- Ratings Following the recent development of nursing home assessments for Medicare and Medicaid, the Centers are addressing the growing number of seniors who are aging on the ground and want to introduce a five-person age group. Star rating system for home nursing on Medicare.gov . The ratings are based on patient surveys and allow you to search by postal code or name.
- Some things are not covered yet. While Medicare has made great strides in 2006 with the addition of Part D, most beneficiaries override why this is not the case to cover certain benefits they are accustomed to while still in the workforce. Medicare still does not cover hearing aids, dental care, eye care or long-term care. Millions of beneficiaries would like to see these benefits on Medicare.
Medicare in its 54th year – What's coming?
- New Medicare Cards with Encrypted Member ID Numbers – Medicare introduces new ID cards for all beneficiaries. It will take a full 12 months for everyone to receive their new card, as the cards are being phased in across the country. However, your Social Security number will no longer appear on your Medicare card, which helps protect our country's seniors from identity theft.
- Part D Closing the coverage gap in 2019 The recent budget agreement has reached the end of a higher level Cost of branded drugs in the gaps. This was achieved one year ahead by reducing the discount granted by manufacturers of branded drugs from 50% to 70% from next year and the percentage paid by the recipients for branded medicines from 30% to 25%.
- Medicare plan F will be discontinued in 2020 – There are 10 standardized Medicare supplements and for decades the Plan-F guideline has been a bestseller as it covers all of your Medicare Parts A. B deductibles, copays and co-insurance. However, this plan will no longer be available to new participants  from 2020 onwards. According to congressional leaders, plans to cover the first dollar can encourage people to go to the doctor more often because they have no skin at stake. However, people already enrolled in Plan F will be grandfather.
- New benefits for Medicare Advantage plans. As of February 2018, 21 million senior citizens are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. (Here are some facts.) CMS now allows the support of domestic workers as an advantage. Non-medical services may include medical trips, portable wheelchair ramps, and other aids. This measure, coupled with a projected average increase in payments for MA plans by 3.4%, is likely to make these plans more popular.
- Wealthier seniors will pay even more for Medicare. The bipartisan budget law will further increase Part B and D premiums for individuals earning more than $ 500,000 (individuals) or $ 750,000 (married). This represents 85% of program cost (as opposed to 80%) in 2018.
- Will the Medicare age of entitlement be raised? We have heard less about it, but it could still happen. The Washington Post reported that Medicare's Hospital Trust Fund will run out of money in 2029. Others, however, (luckily) disagree.
Congratulations to Medicare!
Want more information and news? Like us on Facebook!