Today is the day that we celebrate Medicaid’s birthday (and Medicare’s too). On July 30th, 1965, LBJ signed Medicare and Medicaid into law.
Recently, I went to the Medicaid museum (also known as the LBJ Presidential Library) and got a chance to see the pens that were used to sign these programs into law and the first ceremonial Medicare cards (to Harry and Bess Truman).
A lesser known fact is that the Trumans were not in fact the first Medicare beneficiaries.
Lillian Grace Avery of Naperville, Illinois was the first to have her hospital bills paid by Medicare. She received Medicare on July 1, 1966. The Chicago Tribune did a story last year on it last year and how Medicare’s battles relate to the Affordable Care Act. It’s worth a read.
Well, happy 49th birthday to two wonderful programs!