Who developed Medicare?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Developing Medicare was (and still is) a team effort. Harry Truman came up with the original idea for a national health plan and the Social Security Administration, with the help of a few key congressmen like Wilbur Mills (who faced strong political opposition at the time for doing so) who helped develop the plan. Lyndon Johnson signed it into law in 1965. The original idea came from a need to insure more seniors and provide them with access to quality health care since about 40% of seniors lived at or below the poverty level and couldn’t afford medical costs.

Since the 1960s, most USA presidents have continued to develop and expand Medicare (since they and their political allies in the Senate and House could get political benefit from such expansion as long as it didn’t cost you more in taxes to do so).


Continue Learning about Medicare

What Is Medicare? 4 Essential Questions, Answered
What Is Medicare? 4 Essential Questions, Answered
If you’ll soon be turning 65, you’re probably starting to think about Medicare, the federal health insurance program currently covering more than 55 m...
Read More
What is the “doughnut hole” in Medicare drug coverage?
The “doughnut hole” in Medicare drug coverage is the gap in coverage that occurs after your plan sto...
More Answers
Where can I find Medicare eligibility rules?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
You can get Medicare eligibility rules from the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213...
More Answers
What Type of Policy Changes Is AARP Advocating?
What Type of Policy Changes Is AARP Advocating?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.