Medicare (United States)

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Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over, or who meet other special criteria. Medicare operates similar to a single-payer health care system, but the key difference is that its coverage only extends to 80% of any given medical cost; the remaining 20% of cost must be paid by other means, such as privately-held supplemental insurance, or paid by the patient.[1]

The program also funds residency training programs for the vast majority of physicians in the United States.

The Social Security Act of 1965 was signed into law on July 30, 1965, by President Lyndon B. Johnson as amendments to Social Security legislation. At the bill-signing ceremony President Johnson enrolled former President Harry S. Truman as the first Medicare beneficiary and presented him with the first Medicare card, and his wife Bess, the second.[2]


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