The Social Security Act of 1965 was signed into law on July 30, 1965, by President Lyndon B. Johnson as amendments to existing Social Security legislation. This legislation established the Medicare program.

Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over; to those who are under 65 and are permanently physically disabled or who have a congenital physical disability; or to those who meet other special criteria. The "Original Medicare" plan, i.e. Medicare without Medicare Advantage added on, coverage extends to 80% of any given medical cost; the remaining 20% of cost must be paid either a Medicare Advantage plan, which is a "supplemental insurance" from a private health insurance company, or with out-of-pocket via the patient's own personal funds.

Cry Wolf Quotes

This program could destroy private initiative for our aged to protect themselves with insurance against the cost of illness….Presently, over 60 percent of our older citizens purchase hospital and medical insurance without Government assistance. This private effort would cease if Government benefits were given to all our older citizens.

Sen. Milward Simpson (R-WY).
08/08/1965 | Full Details | Law(s): Medicare

Medicare would be strictly a tax program, forcing wage earners to pay a substantial in their payroll taxes to finance hospitalization for everyone over 65, including those who are wealthy and millions of others who are already protected with hospital insurance.

AMA President Dr. Edward R. Annis.
01/08/1964 | Full Details | Law(s): Medicare

We oppose the Medicare program because foreign experience has shown that socialized medicine is harmful to both the doctor and the patient, primarily to the patient. He suffers most.

Harry E. Northam, director of the Association of American Physicians.
04/11/1965 | Full Details | Law(s): Medicare

[Medicare will usher in] federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have know it in this country.

From Ronald Reagan’s 1961 taped anti-Medicare message, “Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine” paid for by AMA and AMPAC.
01/01/1961 | Full Details | Law(s): Medicare