President Johnson’s White House Daily Diary, July 30, 1965
President Johnson traveled to Independence, Missouri, to sign the Medicare Act in the presence of former president Harry S. Truman, who had proposed similar legislation in his 1949 State of the Union address. The daily diary lists the Congressional leaders who accompanied President Johnson.
National Archives and Records Administration, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, Austin, Texas
Guaranteeing Health Care for the Elderly
In the 1960s, public attention focused on rising health care costs for the elderly. Congress responded in 1965 with the Medicare Act to provide seniors with medical insurance. Medicare was an amendment to the Social Security Act of 1935, becoming the first major addition to the landmark social legislation of the 1930s—laws that had signaled a new relationship between the government and its citizens. When enacted, 36 million senior citizens benefited from the Medicare program.