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50th Anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid

WVIK Staff

50 years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law. Today, Genesis Health System celebrated the creation of national health insurance programs for older Americans and those with low incomes. 
Glen Roebuck, from Genesis, says before Medicare, half of Americans aged 65 and older had no health insurance. When Medicare began, more than 19 million people enrolled. 
And the law also required participating hospitals to desegregate. 
Roebuck says today, only 2 percent of seniors do not have access to health insurance. And, more than 50 million seniors are enrolled in Medicare. 

And while he says the program's cost is always an issue, in the past 5 years, Medicare spending has begun to slow down and level off.

He says spending has slowed because of a focus on preventative healthcare.

Currently, more than 100 million Americans, or about one-third, receive benefits from either Medicare or Medicaid.