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Profile America — Wednesday, July 30th. The national government's broad involvement in individual health insurance goes back to this date in 1965 when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Social Security Amendments, which established Medicare and Medicaid. The legislation was introduced in Congress in March 1965 and went through more than 500 amendments before being passed by large majorities in both the House and Senate. In 1966, President Johnson handed the first Medicare cards to former President Harry Truman, who had advocated such a program, and his wife, Bess. Today, the Medicare system covers some 49 million Americans. The 65-and-older population in the U.S. tops 43 million and is expected to reach nearly 84 million by the year 2050. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov
Sources: Kane's Famous First Facts (Fifth Ed.) 4541