NC Policy Watch July 26, 2021
Jessica Schorr Saxe and George Bohmfalk

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare, his “number one priority,” into law. On July 1, 1966, using primitive communication techniques such as post cards and door-to-door canvassing, the vast majority of Americans over 65 were enrolled. Today Medicare is our most popular and cost-effective health insurance program.

Medicare has improved health and reduced poverty for tens of millions of older adults, but despite its many strengths, it needs improvements that should be addressed in the budget reconciliation bill being formulated in Congress. While a full-on transition to “Medicare for All” would be the preferred solution, we should make every effort to achieve these improvements as soon as possible. These improvements are particularly critical to Black Americans who have poorer health,...

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