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Paul Ryan

Medicare at 50

Medicare at 50

Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, the compulsory federal health insurance program for the elderly and disabled that this newspaper described as "just, humane and overdue" on the day it was signed into law. Today, more than 920,000 Marylanders are covered by Medicare, a small fraction of the 55 million (or one in six) Americans receiving benefits in some form. When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the legislation creating both Medicare and Medicaid (the means-tested insurance program for the poor), The Sun's editorial board fretted about the cost, about whether the then-stagnant economy already facing an increasingly expensive conflict in Vietnam could...

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