July 30th, 2014 marks the 49th anniversary of the signing into law of the Social Security Act. The law contains what is known today as Medicare, the law that guarantees healthcare to all Americans 65 and older.
President Lyndon Johnson signs the bill into law with Harry S. Truman seated next to him. President Truman’s participation in the signing recognized his effort while in office to establish a national health insurance program. Others present were Lady Bird Johnson, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and Bess Truman. July 30, 1965. Photo courtesy of Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, U.S. National Archives
President Truman and former first lady, Bess Truman, received Medicare registration cards numbers one and two. This is the Medicare card believed to have been given to Harry Truman by President Johnson at the signing of the Social Security Act of 1965 in Independence, Missouri. Photo courtesy of Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, U.S. National Archives.
Today, Medicare provides healthcare to 50 million Americans. Check out Medicare.gov for more information on this excellent program. Happy Birthday Medicare!