History of Medicare

by Steve Wilson · 0 comments

Looking back at the Medicare program

The federal Medicare program has changed the lives of millions of Americans. But the roots of Medicare go back to our nation’s early efforts to achieve health coverage for its elderly and poor citizens.

1902

The first U.S. workmen’s compensation law enacted (later declared unconstitutional)

1915

Thirty states enacted the first major legislation to require employers to insure their workers against industrial accidents – or workmen’s compensation

1935

The first federal government health insurance bill introduced in Congress

1945

President Harry S. Truman became the first sitting president to officially endorse national health insurance

1961

President John F. Kennedy sent a message to Congress recommending health insurance for the elderly under Social Security

1965

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law

1972

Medicare eligibility extended to people with disabilities and to people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD)

1976

HMOs began to be offered as a Medicare option effective with the HMO Act of 1976

1983

The diagnosis-related group (DRG) prospective payment system began – soon after, Medicare members could enroll in an HMO or managed care plan

1997

The Medicare+Choice program (now known as Medicare Advantage) was enacted

2003

President George W. Bush signed the “Medicare Modernization Act” into law

2006

The voluntary Part D outpatient prescription drug benefit becomes available to beneficiaries from private drug plans and Medicare Advantage Plans

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