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The History of Medicare Explained

The History of Medicare Explained


Medicare history begins in 1965, with the Social Security Act which was signed by President Lyndon Johnson. The Act was implemented to amended the current Social Security legislation. President Johnson immediately enrolled former President Truman and his wife, as the first two beneficiaries if medicare.

History continues to show changes to medicare and medicare benefits, but the program continues to provide benefits to all Americans over 65 and to those that have special circumstances, such as being eligible for permanent disability.

The history of medicare has indicated that the cost of the program will continue to rise, as many Americans begun to reach the age of eligibility. In fact, in the past , there had been a cap on maximum contributions.

Contributions to medicare are taken as a portion of payroll taxes, with half of those taxes being paid by the employee and the other half being paid by the employer. Previously, payments were only made up to a certain point.

However, the rising cost of the program necessitated that the payments no longer be capped and working Americans and their employers are taxed as a flat percentage of their salary, no matter what the salary is.

Several Presidents have attempted to reform the medicare program, including President Clinton. However, it appears that further reform is necessary in order for the program to be continually funded, allowing Americans to have access to the program.

1960 – PL 86-778 Social Security Amendments of 1960 (Kerr-Mills aid)

1965 — PL 89-97 Social Security Act of 1965, Establishing Medicare Benefits [84]

1980 — Medicare Secondary Payer Act of 1980, prescription drugs coverage added

1988 — PL 100-360 Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988

1989 — Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Repeal Act of 1989

1997 — PL 105-33 Balanced Budget Act of 1997

2003 — PL 108-173 Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act

2010 – Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act

President Bill Clinton attempted an overhaul of Medicare through his health care reform plan in 1993-1994 but was unable to get the legislation passed by Congress.

In 2003 Congress passed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, which President George W. Bush signed into law on December 8, 2003. Part of this legislation included filling gaps in prescription-drug coverage left by the Medicare Secondary Payer Act that was enacted in 1980. The 2003 bill strengthened the Workers' Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Program (WCMSA) that is monitored and administered by CMS.

On August 1, 2007, the U.S. House United States Congress voted to reduce payments to Medicare Advantage providers in order to pay for expanded coverage of children's health under the SCHIP program. As of 2008, Medicare Advantage plans cost, on average, 13 percent more per person insured than direct payment plans

Many health economists have concluded that payments to Medicare Advantage providers have been excessive. The Senate, after heavy lobbying from the insurance industry, declined to agree to the cuts in Medicare