Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 30, 1965 in a bipartisan effort to provide health insurance coverage for low-income, disabled, and elderly Americans. In their 50 year history, each of these programs has come to play a key role in providing health coverage to millions of Americans today and make up a significant component of federal and state budgets. Medicare, a federal government program, provides health insurance coverage for Americans age 65 and older, regardless of income, as well as those under age 65 with permanent disabilities. Medicaid provides coverage for medical care and long-term care services to low-income people and is jointly financed by federal and state governments, with each state deciding how to structure benefits, eligibility, and care delivery within guidelines set by the federal government. Medicaid is also one of the primary ways the Affordable Care Act expanded coverage to millions more low-income, uninsured adults. Today, both programs cover 111 million Americans and cost an estimated $1,035 billion this year.1
With Medicare and Medicaid Getting High Marks from the Public and Beneficiaries, Majorities Favor Status Quo over Major Structural Changes Such As Premium Supports or Block GrantsWritten by Kaiser Family Foundation Published in Medicare News
Among Medicare Changes, Strongest and Broadest Support Is for Negotiating Drug Prices
People With Medicare, Medicaid and Employer Plans Give Their Coverage Similar Ratings, But Some Report Affordability and Physician Access Problems
Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson signed the law creating the Medicare and Medicaid programs, a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds a majority of the public and the vast majority of program beneficiaries view the two programs positively. Likely as a result, the public starts with a preference for the status quo over major structural changes that would reshape how the programs serve beneficiaries.
Just over six in 10 Americans (62%) say they approve of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week to continue allowing low- and moderate-income people in all states to be eligible for government subsidies to buy health plans through Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance marketplaces, finds the Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest tracking poll. About one third (32%) say they disapprove of the ruling.
Although Democrats are more likely to approve of the King v. Burwell decision, and Republicans are more likely to disapprove, about three in 10 Republicans (29%), and a similar share of those who view the law unfavorably (30%), approve of the ruling.
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