May 4, 2015

Medicare and the Older Americans Act Turn 50

This summer, Medicare and the Older Americans Act turn 50.

The Social Security Amendments of 1965 (Pub.L. 89–97, 79 Stat. 286), which created Medicare, were signed into law on July 30, 1965 by President Johnson.

According to the Hartford Courant, 265,000 Connecticut citizens, or almost 10% of the state’s population of the time, were eligible for Medicare insurance when the bill passed. Currently, over a half-million Connecticut citizens, and approximately 50 million people nationwide, are Medicare beneficiaries.

The Older Americans Act (Pub. L. 89-73, 79 Stat. 218), signed July 14, 1965, provided funding for elderly support programs and created a national network of Agencies on Aging and the federal Administration on Aging (AoA) to oversee it.

The AoA keeps a detailed history on the evolution of programs for the elderly.

Image Source: LBJ Library Photo Archive