Medicare and Medicaid Celebrate 50 years of Protecting Americans’ Health

For NowThis year, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law legislation that established the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and for the last half-century, these programs have been protecting the health and well-being of millions of American families, saving lives, and improving the economic security of our nation.

According to the official CMS website, though Medicare and Medicaid started as basic insurance programs for Americans who didn’t have health insurance, they’ve changed over the years to provide more and more Americans with access to the quality and affordable health care they need.

“The 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid provides an important opportunity for us to reflect on the critical role these programs have played in protecting the health and well-being of millions of families,” said Andy Slavitt, acting CMS administrator. “Today, Medicare and Medicaid are creating a health care system that is better, smarter, and healthier – setting standards for how care is delivered. As we take a moment to reflect on the past five decades, we must also look to the future and explore ways to strengthen and improve health care for future generations.”

As part of this anniversary celebration, CMS will be highlighting people, places, and progress that represent the Medicare and Medicaid programs as we know today through daily facts and posts on Twitter (@cmsgov) and Medicaid.gov.

Also, CMS is engaging in conversations with beneficiaries, providers, and health experts, and has invited the public to participate in this celebration by sharing stories of how Medicare and Medicaid have made a difference. Stories can be shared at http://www.medicare.gov/anniversary/share-your-story.html. In late July, regional CMS offices will host public events in addition to a national event in Washington, D.C.