56th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law legislation that established the Medicare and Medicaid. For 56 years since, these programs have helped to protect the health and well-being of millions of Americans throughout all of life’s key moments. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure released the following statements to mark the 56th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid today:

“For decades, Medicare and Medicaid have been a lifeline and a steady foundation for our seniors, children, women, families, people with disabilities, and at every stage in life,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Nearly 140 million Americans have health insurance coverage through either Medicare or Medicaid. As we mark their 56th anniversary, the Biden-Harris Administration is proud to celebrate, strengthen, and expand these programs which have improved the health and wellbeing of the American people. President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda will extend Medicaid’s coverage to those who need it most and give older Americans additional benefits they critically need. Throughout my career, I’ve championed these vital programs for America’s families and seniors, and as HHS Secretary, I will work with President Biden to build upon Medicare and Medicaid for generations to come.”

“For 56 years, Medicare and Medicaid have made health coverage a reality for individuals and families when they have needed it,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “When President Lyndon Johnson called on Congress to spare the Nation’s seniors of ‘the darkness of sickness without hope,’ nearly half of seniors were uninsured, most hospitals around the country were segregated, and health coverage was out of reach for many. Medicare and Medicaid were critical steps forward in the fight for civil rights that brought the peace of mind that health coverage provides to many, made health care access more equitable by requiring the integration of hospitals, and improved health outcomes across the country. Today, nearly 140 million Americans have coverage thanks to Medicare and Medicaid.  The health needs of those who rely on these vital CMS programs are always evolving, and because of that, the Biden-Harris Administration will continue to work to expand and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid so they remain quality and reliable health programs.  Ensuring these programs also work to advance health equity nationwide is also a top priority for CMS. Access to health coverage is a right and no one should be left out, left behind, or left on the sidelines.”

For more on the statements, visit: https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2021/07/29/hhs-secretary-xavier-becerra-cms-administrator-chiquita-brooks-lasure-56th-anniversary-medicare-medicaid.html

Social Media

Join us in celebrating the anniversary today, by sharing the posts in our toolkit found here: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/56thanniversarysocialmediatoolkit.pdf; and links to the zip file here: https://www.cms.gov/files/zip/56thanniversary.zip.

You can also join the Twitter Storm at 12 p.m. local time today, please post on Twitter (and other social media platforms) using hashtag #56Covered with a graphic from this toolkit to celebrate the anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid.