July 30, 1965, President Johnson signed the Social Security Amendments of 1965 into law. This law created not only Medicare, but also Medicaid. Medicaid is the joint state and federal health insurance program for low-income people and also allows seniors and people with disabilities get the long-term care they need. Needless to say, Medicaid has become an integral part of our health care system.
What has Medicaid done for our healthcare system in the past 50 years? Since the inception of Medicaid, every state has seen:
- Education of infant mortality
- Increase in life expectancy
- Improved health insurance rates for children
You may be saying that medical advances have contributed to the above factors, but keep in mind that advances only matter to the extent that people can access them.
Even at 50 years old, Medicaid is expanding, narrowing the large gap in health coverage in many states. This is allowing for many low-income adults to afford health insurance, when before they couldn’t. Medicaid is more reliable than ever, providing the support needed to improve people’s health and wellbeing.
To this we sing, Happy Birthday to you, Medicaid.