Title: Historical Perspectiv: Medicare & Medicaid You are e…

Title: Historical Perspectiv: Medicare & Medicaid You are employed by the local government and you have been assigned to work with a team in educating the health care consumers of your community about Medicare or Medicaid. You and your team have been tasked with creating a multimedia tool that will be made available at any local government office with this information. For example, choose from the following: Presentation Brochure Video/Documentary Another medium approved by your instructor

Historical Perspective: Medicare and Medicaid


Medicare and Medicaid are two essential government healthcare programs in the United States that provide health insurance coverage to specific population groups. As an employee of the local government, our task is to educate the health care consumers of our community about either Medicare or Medicaid. In this assignment, we will focus on providing a historical perspective on Medicare and Medicaid and their significance in the healthcare landscape.

Historical Context:


Medicare is a federal health insurance program that primarily serves people aged 65 and older. It was established in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act. The program was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson as part of his “Great Society” initiative, which aimed to address social welfare issues and improve the well-being of American citizens.

Prior to the implementation of Medicare, older Americans faced significant challenges accessing affordable healthcare. Private insurance companies often refused to cover older adults due to their increased healthcare needs, leaving them vulnerable to financial burdens associated with medical expenses. The introduction of Medicare revolutionized the healthcare landscape by ensuring that seniors had access to affordable health insurance.

Medicare is financed through a combination of payroll taxes, premiums paid by beneficiaries, and general revenue funds. It is divided into four parts: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. Part A provides coverage for hospital care, Part B covers outpatient services and physician visits, Part C offers Medicare Advantage plans, and Part D covers prescription drug costs.

Over the years, Medicare has undergone several amendments and expansions to better meet the evolving healthcare needs of the elderly population. For example, in 1972, Medicare was expanded to include people with disabilities who are under the age of 65. Additionally, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 introduced the Medicare prescription drug benefit (Part D), which significantly improved access to medications for Medicare beneficiaries.


Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides healthcare coverage to low-income individuals and families. It was also established in 1965 under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, alongside Medicare. Medicaid was created as a means to address the disparities in healthcare access among low-income Americans and ensure that they received adequate medical care.

Unlike Medicare, Medicaid eligibility is means-tested, meaning individuals must meet certain income and asset requirements to qualify for coverage. The program is jointly funded by the federal government and individual states, with the federal government providing matching funds to states based on a predetermined formula.

Initially, Medicaid primarily covered specific vulnerable population groups, such as pregnant women, children, and individuals with disabilities. However, over the years, Medicaid eligibility has expanded to include more individuals, particularly with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. The ACA allowed states to extend Medicaid coverage to all individuals with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level.

Significance and Impact:

Medicare and Medicaid have had a profound impact on the healthcare landscape in the United States. These programs have provided millions of Americans with access to affordable healthcare services, reducing financial burdens and improving overall health outcomes.

For older adults, Medicare has been instrumental in ensuring that they have access to essential healthcare services, including hospital care, doctor visits, and prescription medications. Without Medicare, many seniors would face significant barriers to receiving necessary medical treatment, resulting in poorer health outcomes.

Similarly, Medicaid has played a crucial role in improving healthcare access for low-income individuals and families. By providing coverage for essential services such as preventive care, doctor visits, and hospitalizations, Medicaid has helped bridge the gap in healthcare disparities among disadvantaged populations.

In conclusion, understanding the historical context and significance of Medicare and Medicaid is crucial in educating the health care consumers of our community. By providing this historical perspective, we can ensure that individuals are well-informed about the evolution of these programs and their importance in the overall healthcare system.