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    US Medicare and Social Programs: Effectiveness and Relevance

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    Consider that President Johnson signed the Medicare bill thinking that this legislation would provide security for all Americans in their senior years.

    Do you think Medicare and other social programs are hitting their mark as was intended in the 1960s?

    Referencing search material, discuss how the status of seniors has changed since this bill was enacted.

    With the rising costs of health care in the United States, government health care has been a "hot topic" both in the political spectrum as well as in the private spectrum. After doing Internet research on various health care options, please be prepared to discuss the positive and negative aspects of taking health care out of the hands of private industry and into the hands of the government.

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    OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

    Medicare & Related Social Programs

    Today, it is impossible to imagine life without Medicare and other benefits available to Americans that make life, especially for those living in the margins of society, bearable and more comfortable. Social programs look after those who are most at risk with less access to resources. It gives those with less 'life chances' opportunities for change and development to make life, for the poor and the elderly for example, manageable and with hope. We deem social benefits as the right of every citizen and every American taxpayer for it has become a lifeline to many and a security blanket to those employed and going about their day-to-day jobs and responsibilities. If things go awry (i.e., a worker gets laid-off, mass unemployment, an elderly needs health and housing assistance, the homeless need healthcare help), the system is there to answer whatever eventualities may be. But this was not always so.


    As early as 1923, Pres. Harding proposed the creation of the Department of Education and Welfare, lumping the function of education and social welfare under one umbrella. It was 1953 however when via Pres. Eisenhower's Reorganization Plan Number 1 of 1953, it came into being. The cost of hospital care doubled and to cope, the healthcare insurance industry saw the creation of over 700 insurance companies selling medical and health insurance. Meanwhile, welfare and education was under one umbrella and it wasn't until 1979 when the education function was differentiated into its own agency entirely and its welfare component came to be enacted as Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The 60's however saw President Lyndon Johnson signing Medicare and Medicaid into law as part of the Great Society legislation. In the US today, social welfare is geared towards looking after the elderly and the marginalized. It is a much different situation when prior to this the poor as well as the abandoned elderly ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution is a 1,301-word narrative that discusses the effectivity and relevance of the American Medicare and related social programs since their inception in the 1960's. Current programs are discussed as well as their history and an exploration of their relevance and application completes the narrative. references are listed for further studies. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing.