Medicare celebrates its golden anniversary on July 30th. 50 years ago, on July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare law into effect. The program started in January of 1966, when millions of Americans 65 and older signed for Medicare Parts A & B. It has protected millions of people from poor health, premature death and bankruptcy!
There have been changes made to Medicare since 1965. President Nixon made the first major change to Medicare when he signed a law expanding coverage to include people under 65 with disabilities, and people with End Stage Renal Disease. Years later, it was expanded to include people with ALS.
The next big change came when President George W. Bush signed the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, which added the optional prescription drug benefit (Medicare Part D).