30th Anniversary of Medicare


In 1996 the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) (subsequently renamed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) held a conference in Austin, Texas at the LBJ Presidential Library to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the implementation of Medicare. Although Medicare was enacted into law on July 30, 1965, it was not implemented until July 1, 1966--in order to give the Social Security Administration and other governmental agencies sufficient lead-time to prepare for the many implementation tasks associated with the start of such a massive new program.

The Austin conference featured a collection of scholarly and historical reflections on the creation and implementation of Medicare, and assessments of its present and future prospects. The papers presented at the conference were subsequently published in a special issue of HCFA's journal Health Care Financing Review. The printed issue ran to 237 pages, and is being made available here for the first time in electronic form.

(Note: all files are in Abobe PDF format.)

cover of issue


President Lyndon B. Johnson in June 1966, just before the implementation of the Medicare program:

"Medical care will free millions from their miseries. It will signal a deep and lasting change in the American way of life. It will take its place beside Social Security and together they will form the twin pillars of protection upon which all our people can safely build their lives and their hope."



Foreword Bruce C. Vladeck

Opening Remarks Max Sherman & Overview-- Margaret H. Davis

Health Care in the Early 1960s Rosemary A. Stevens

Beneficiary Profile: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Dorothy P. Rice

Beneficiary Perspective Karen Davis

What Medicare Has Meant To Older Americans Marilyn Moon

Medicare, Medicaid, and the Elderly Poor Diane Rowland and Barbara Lyons

Thirty Years of Medicare: A Personal Reflection on Medicare's Impact on Black Americans Dorothy I. Height

Medicare, Medicaid, and People With Disability Robert J. Master and Carol Taniguchi

Why Medicare Matters to People Who Need Long-Term Care Judith Feder and Jeanne Lambrew

Provider and Insurer Perspective Senator David Durenberger

Medicare and Physician Autonomy Richard A. Culbertson and Philip R. Lee

The House That Medicare Built: Remodeling for the 21st Century Merwyn R. Greenlick

Politics of Health Policy: Yesterday and Today Judith Miller Jones

Medicare and Hospitals Mitchell T. Rabkin

Medicare Influence on Private Insurance: Good or Ill? Stanley B. Jones

The Politics of Medicare and Health Reform, Then and Now Lawrence D. Brown

Politics of Federal Health Policy, 1960-75: A Perspective William D. Fullerton

Thirty Years of Medicare: Impact on the Covered Population Marian E. Gornick, Joan L. Warren, Paul W. Eggers, James D. Lubitz, Nancy De Lew, Margaret H. Davis, and Barbara S.Cooper