Medicare is a federally legislated program that provides low-cost hospitalization and medical insurance primarily for American seniors over the age of 65. Although a presidential committee considered creating a health insurance program for the elderly as early as 1934, it was not until 1965 that President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law as Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, with coverage added in 1973 for certain disabled persons and people with kidney disease. Medicaid, a health safety net program for low-income Americans, was also enacted in 1965. Initially, both Medicare and Medicaid were the responsibility of the Social Security Administration. As the programs expanded and became more complex, the Health Care Financing Administration was created in 1977 to effectively coordinate and manage them. Further ...

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