Medicare and Medicaid 50th Anniversary Count Down

Washington, D.C. – This summer will mark the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Amendments to the Social Security Act that established the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Over the next 50 days, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will recognize the impact these two programs have had in transforming our nation’s health care system. By sharing daily facts and posts on Twitter (@cmsgov) and Medicaid.gov, CMS will highlight people, places, and progress that represent the Medicare and Medicaid programs as we know today.

“The 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid provides an important opportunity for us to reflect on the critical role these programs have played in protecting the health and well-being of millions of families,” said Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “Today, Medicare and Medicaid are creating a health care system that is better, smarter, and healthier – setting standards for how care is delivered. As we take a moment to reflect on the past five decades, we must also look to the future and explore ways to strengthen and improve health care for future generations.”

On July 30, 1965, President Johnson signed legislation to establish Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for low-income adults, children, pregnant women, and people with disabilities. Though Medicare and Medicaid started as basic health coverage programs for Americans, the programs have evolved over the years to provide more Americans with improved access to quality and affordable health care coverage. These programs have transformed the delivery of health care in the United States.

To commemorate this golden anniversary, CMS will engage in conversations with beneficiaries, providers, and health experts. We invite the public to participate in this celebration by sharing stories of how Medicare and Medicaid have made a difference. Stories can be shared at Medicare.gov/anniversary/share-your-story. In late July, regional CMS offices will host public events in addition to a national event in Washington, D.C.

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