Medicare and Medicaid Essay

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Medicare and Medicaid are programs that have been developed to assist Americans in attainment of quality health care. Both programs were established in 1965 and are federally supported to provide health care coverage to vulnerable populations such as the elderly, the disabled, and people with low incomes. Both Medicare and Medicaid are federally mandated and determine coverage under each program; both are run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a federal agency ("What is Medicare? What is Medicaid?” 2008). Distinguishing between Medicare and Medicaid Medicare is a federally governed insurance program, primarily serving Americans over the age of 65, younger disabled meeting specific disability criteria, and dialysis…show more content…
The Evolution of Medicare based on the Needs of Society Since its establishment in 1965 we have seen Medicare change as people’s needs change however being a federal program these changes do have an incredible amount of lag time. One of the first major changes to Medicare occurred in 1972 when President Nixon signed the Social Security Amendments of 1972 which extended coverage to individuals under age 65 with long-term disabilities, expanded benefits to include some chiropractic services and speech and physical therapy. During this time we see the American public growing tired of the Vietnam Conflict and lack of support and care for those returning Marines and soldiers with severe disabilities. As the protests escalate and the peace initiatives fail a key piece of legislation is signed showing government support and a willingness to extend health care benefits to this growing and vocal population of veterans (The Vietnam War, 1999). Also included in this Amendment is the encouragement of the use of Health Maintenance Organizations, President Nixon’s administration caught in the scandal of Watergate and pending hearings appeased the left and proposed the HMO Act, which Congress passed in 1973 (Phillips, 2003). Conte & Karr (2001) report the economic growth of the 1980’s in the United States sees President Regan cutting taxes and slashing social programs. President Reagan also
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