It has been 58 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Medicare Act, a pathbreaking turning point in health care, after much resistance for a half century.
Theodore Roosevelt in 1912, as the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party Presidential nominee, was the first President to suggest health care should be a national commitment.
His distant cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, considered the issue, but had enough of a battle over Social Security being legislated into law in 1935, as part of his “New Deal”.
Harry Truman promoted, as part of his “Fair Deal”, the consideration of some sort of national health care, but it went awry in the divisive politics of the “Red Scare” and the Cold War.
John F. Kennedy also pushed the issue, but did not have the clout to get it past House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Wilbur Mills of Arkansas.
Lyndon B. Johnson pushed the issue of national health care as part of his “Great Society”, and got it done, and it has been a godsend to millions of elderly people and disabled people, and added to the following year by the adoption of Medicaid.
Most Republicans opposed it then and since, and continue to call it “Socialism”, and ten states, including Texas and Florida, refuse to expand Medicaid, denying the poor the care they need, and this by a party that claims to be “Pro Life”! 🙁
And Barack Obama, in promoting the Affordable Care Act or “ObamaCare”, expanded health care, and it continues to survive despire blistering Republican and conservative attacks!
So this is a time to salute LBJ, as the savior of the promotion of national health care!